Early recognition of council's support for small business

Forest of Dean District Council’s Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) has scooped a special award for its economic support of local small businesses.

The Small Business Friendly Awards 2018 were held by the Federation of Small Businesses Gloucestershire and West of England at Gloucester Rugby Club on Friday 30th November.

The awards are open to county, unitary and district authorities within Gloucestershire and the West of England for projects where councils have worked together with business on the implementation and delivery.

During Friday’s ceremony the council picked up the ‘most innovative small business campaign’ award for its work addressing key challenges and opportunities in the Forest of Dean around education and skills, transport and infrastructure, digital connectivity and bridges and borders.

The FEP was launched by the Forest of Dean District Council in January 2018 to bring together businesses, councils, people, ideas and resources to give the Forest of Dean a united voice in many economic conversations and to deliver a thriving and sustainable economy. It has a rapidly growing membership of more than 150 represented businesses and organisations.

Cllr Julia Gooch, cabinet member for town centres, business support and jobs said, “We’re working to make the Forest of Dean an attractive, vibrant and dynamic destination to live, work and do business. This award is a fantastic achievement for the Forest Economic Partnership in its first year of operation and a great sign that we’re on the right track. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Andrew Callard, chair of the Forest Economic Partnership said, “I’m delighted that the Council has won this award for creating FEP for those who live and work in the District to share in creating our economic plan. The diversity of people has meant greater understanding of views and the exciting projects being proposed for 2019. As the other winners were Bristol City and South Gloucestershire Councils, it demonstrates that the Forest voice is increasingly being heard at all levels so I also thank all FEP’s volunteers for this early recognition.”

For more information about the FEP please visit: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/business/business-support/forest-economic-partnership-fep/

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