Forest Economic Partnership (FEP)

A United Voice for Economic Development in the Forest of Dean


Forest Economic Partnership

Download the Open for Business brochure

Launched following the removal of the Severn Bridge Tolls, the Forest of Dean ‘Open for Business’ brochure introduces you to an excellent sample of Forest of Dean businesses and the broad range of business support available should you set up shop here in one of the South West’s best kept secrets. The publication also includes details of the Forest’s first-rate education provision, and multiple Social Enterprises. A must-read not just for those curious about the area’s growth, but equally for those who are witnessing it first-hand. Please:

The Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) is bringing together businesses, councils, people, ideas and resources to give the Forest of Dean a voice in the Glos2050 big conversation and deliver a thriving and sustainable economy.

Our vision is that in 2050 the Forest of Dean is an attractive, vibrant and dynamic destination to live, work and do business.

Participation is via a quarterly stakeholder meeting and 4 sub-groups that are working to address key challenges and opportunities in the Forest of Dean:

Education and skills - led by Julian Grail, Grail Engineering

  • Within a lifelong learning context, how do we get the workforce we need for the District now and in the future to power and sustain economic growth by removing barriers and raising aspirations?

Transport and infrastructure - led by Paul O'Flynn, Tayntons Solicitors

  • The District plan guides future development that gives us the space to work, live and play. Once those uses are known, we can consider the transport routes in the District to enable them become fit for purpose. What is the practical new vision that defines the Forest we want to be and the balance between the use of space?

Digital connectivity - led by David Trevelyan, Sustain You

  • We are told we live in a digital world. What practical steps can we take to get the speed, reliability and connectivity to support the ways we increasingly work, live, study and play now and in the future?

Bridges and borders - led by Andrew Callard, Aimed Business

  • The Severn and Wye have preserved the Forest. The best future protection is connection with all those around us to ensure a mutual understanding of economic needs. Looking outwards, if we are to participate in the South Wales-West of England economic powerhouse and be considered in our neighbours plans, what do we need and want to trade for bridges?

FEP has already taken action and in 2018 submitted responses to:

Chepstow Transport Study 

Local Transport Authorities Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire County Councils commissioned the ‘Chepstow Transport Study’ in April 2018 in response to a number of changing factors including:

  • The removal of Severn Bridge Tolls in December 2018 and increases in house prices within the Bristol region placing pressure on the local housing market;
  • The production of new Local Development Plans (for both Monmouthshire CC and Forest of Dean District Council);
  • Pressure for development within south east Monmouthshire and the Lydney area within the Forest of Dean;
  • Implementation of the Cardiff City Region Regeneration Plan and the associated transport aspirations including implementation of the Metro.

The Forest of Dean District Council is committed to cross-border working and is working closely with Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council in order to progress to the next feasibility stage.

Both the Chepstow Transport Study and Impacts Assessment Report are available to read and download.

The details of the next FEP Stakeholder Meetings are:

  • 09:30-11:30  - Tuesday 11th June - Conference Suite, Vantage Point Business Park, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DD
  • 09:30-11.30 – Wednesday 11th September - Lydney Town Hall, GL15 5DY
  • 09:30-11:30 -  Wednesday 11th December - Gloucestershire College, Forest of Dean Campus, Cinderford, GL14 3FF

To sign up to the Forest Economic Partnership, or for more information: