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RBKC Draft Economic Strategy Published

RBKC has published a draft Economic Strategy. They are still seeking feedback on the strategy so if you have comments please contact this email address ensuring you address it to the Economic Development Team information@rbkc.gov.uk. Below is the draft strategy. 


RBKC Economy Strategy


Stakeholder Engagement


Consultation Draft March 2019


The Council has started work to develop an economy strategy for the borough, with the aim of adoption by the Leadership Team in July 2019.  The strategy will look at the economy in the round, considering employment, skills and enterprise, and considering the financial, social, cultural and economic forces at work in the borough.


The Council will adopt a new Council Plan in March 2019: this will set out the Council’s approach to the economic, social and environmental well-being of our communities and a long-term vision for the future.  The Economy Strategy will be closely aligned with the Council Plan and will drive the delivery of its vision.


RBKC is a unique borough for many reasons, and this strategy will be different from economic development strategies in other boroughs.  In particular, the focus is less on construction-led growth (albeit that there is significant work happening in this area) and more on creating connections and making the most of opportunities which exist but are not yet widely understood, promoted or maximised.


While the strategy is predominantly a Council document, the Council is acutely conscious that the Council cannot alone develop and deliver its vision for the economy in Kensington and Chelsea, and is keen to work with partners, business, the community and other stakeholders to do so.  In particular, the Council is keen to develop partnerships and cross-organisational working. 


A Partnership Board has been established, chaired by the Lead Member for Skills and Education, to contribute to the development of the strategy, including senior representation from Kensington and Chelsea College, Department for Work and Pensions, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kensington Business Forum, Kensington and Chelsea Social Council, Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, the Westway Trust, the secondary schools forum, and representatives from the higher education, property and youth sectors, workspace providers and enterprise support.


Work and skills is a key theme of the Grenfell Recovery Strategy, and provision has been made for commissioning related to this theme, focused on the needs of the Notting Dale ward as part of the community recovery programme.  This provision will be co-ordinated closely with wider provision in line with the Economy Strategy.


Recurring and prominent themes of the Stronger Communities and Borough Priorities consultations are: helping young people into work, creating more employment opportunities for local people within the Council, encouraging businesses to employ more local people, more support for small business and social enterprise, tackling low pay, looking at pathways into education and employment, cultivating philanthropy and removing barriers to work.


Informed by the local data set, and by feedback received through consultation to date, the Council has drafted some high level themes and objectives for the Economy Strategy.  These are still ‘work-in-progress’:




  1. Skills and employment

1a - Supporting residents from the north of the borough and the far south (where unemployment, low income and low skills levels are concentrated and residents are more likely to be from a BME background) to move into and progress through work by:

  • identifying and breaking down barriers to work
  • connecting residents with opportunities created directly and indirectly as result of Council activities
  • ensuring that residents have access to opportunities to develop their skills for opportunities in the local and wider economy
  • maximising existing sub-regional provision
  • making greater use of apprenticeships
  • development of relationships with local and London-wide businesses
  • creating pathways and making it easy to find and access them

1b - Providing targeted support to long-term unemployed residents (who are more likely than average to have health problems, particularly mental health problems) to address barriers to employment, particularly through social housing management and specific estate-based services, and in light of ongoing welfare reforms.


1c - Aligning the Council’s efforts through education, youth provision and targeted support to help young people access opportunities, gain skills and succeed in the future economy (including apprenticeships and working with businesses).


1d - Exploring ways the Council can drive the agenda by:

  • introducing and supporting the London Living Wage (LLW)
  • increasing apprenticeships
  • encouraging employment and skills training through partnerships with other anchor institutions
  • embedding social value within our procurement activity
  1. Business and enterprise

2a - Ensuring that Kensington and Chelsea remains a competitive location for business and finding new ways of supporting businesses to start, stay, develop and grow in the borough, using the full range of tools and functions available to it (planning, licensing etc) by:

  • adopting policies that support business growth
  • maintaining the provision of business space
  • addressing potential barriers to new business formation
  • partnerships and forums with businesses to discuss their concerns and aspirations with the Council
  • articulating the Council’s priorities
  • ensuring take up of business rates relief and ways in which it can be promoted
  • promoting and supporting the visitor economy


2b - Maintaining and developing a suite of land use policies which allow the Council to meet its objectively assessed need for a range of commercial uses.  This will ensure that:

  • the local economy is supported
  • the Borough contributes to the wider London economy,
  • the vitality and viability of the Borough’s high streets is maintained
  • providing opportunities to attract businesses into the borough, and the scope for existing businesses to expand
  • maintaining the diversity of land uses within the Borough, thereby maintaining its character and its function


2c - Ensuring that residents have access to support in starting and establishing a business, including help to develop and adapt business models in the light of changes to local and wider London economies.


2d - Developing co-ordinated actions to support the borough’s retail areas, and the unique street-markets in the face of changing consumer behaviour and technology.


2e - Developing supply chain strategies and procurement processes to create job opportunities, favour local businesses and support London Living Wage employers.


2f - Developing the Council’s approach to social philanthropy, using our convening and influencing role to build relationships and create opportunities for residents – for example by creating job opportunities or supporting residents to create local businesses, via local strategic partnerships.


2g - Working more closely with local businesses to increase numbers of apprenticeships.


2h - Making the most of the opportunities available through local businesses’ corporate social responsibility policies.


  1. Planning and investment

3a - Supporting good growth, building strong and inclusive communities, delivering the homes Londoners need and creating a healthy city through our Local Plan, the London Plan and through relevant Neighbourhood Plans.


3b - The use of the planning process, through developer contributions, commitments and s106 planning agreements to support investment locally.


3c - Harnessing and recognising the opportunities from development on major sites such as Kensal and Earl’s Court to ensure that the efforts to deliver are aligned and realised.



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