Lewisham Economic Strategy & Action Plan
We developed an economic strategy & action plan based on inclusive economy principles for Lewisham Council to enact alongside its Lewisham Strategic Partnership, comprising key borough institutions and employers
PRD developed an economic strategy and action plan built on an evidence base and commitments from council partners to help embed and deliver the strategy. The work began with a highly visual evidence base structured around three topics:
- Economy & people: Who is in the economy and what they are doing? (e.g. sector growth/change, resident qualifications, working from home, commercial floorspace, travel to/from Lewisham for work, younger and older population projections, economic inactivity)
- Economy & planet: How does the economy affect the planet and vice versa? (e.g. emissions hotspots, commercial stock energy performance ratings, air quality, carbon-intensive jobs, just transition, waste production and processing)
- Economy & prosperity: What do people get out of the economy? (e.g. worker and resident job quality and pay, claimants, access to town centres/amenities, access to public transport)
For each theme, we considered borough-wide data, but reviewed more granular information wherever possible to understand differences across neighbourhoods and whether any specific places would benefit from targeted actions in the strategy.
To cater to stakeholders’ differing levels of time and data confidence, we produced three variants of the evidence base: a traditional PDF of the complete evidence base, with maps, graphs, tables, and our written commentary; a shorter video version with a staff member talking through headline findings via maps and graphs; and a shorter still three-page PDF focusing on just the headline findings per theme and follow-on considerations for the strategy.
We also developed a set of themes and target geographical areas to give structure to the strategy, based on baseline findings and the council’s own economic ambitions: enterprise and creativity, opportunities for young people, decarbonisation, and prosperity—all under a banner of inclusive economy.
An engagement phase followed the baseline work, in which we held three roundtable discussions with the council and its Local Strategic Partnership to test the strategy themes, develop a vision, and learn how LSP members may be able to support the strategy through their own operations.
The action plan draws on economy-related actions from other Lewisham Council policies and incorporates new actions for the council and LSP to implement together. The strategy focuses on actions that council and LSP members can directly deliver or influence, such as through their services and contracts. However, recognising that some of the most critical challenges are outside of council control (e.g. pressing need for funding for commercial stock retrofit), we also included practical actions around partnerships and lobbying to bring forward change.
Project LeadAmanda Robinson