Letchworth's economic future
A dynamic local economy is essential to keeping Letchworth vibrant and enabling residents to have a good quality of life and a future for our young people.
Our objective is to develop more business partnership opportunities that will help to create long-term and sustainable economic growth in Letchworth. These opportunities will also help to improve people’s skills. To make this happen, we are working with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and in the next three years, we want to be welcoming more businesses to the town.
In partnership with the LEP, we have commissioned a report to understand Letchworth’s current economic climate and what its future might look like. The findings show that Letchworth has a very distinctive economic character and role. Currently, this reflects in the town’s unique history, and its location (its close proximity to Hitchin and Baldock; its links to Stevenage; and its wider location in relation to the Oxford Cambridge Arc).
The general conclusion is that Letchworth needs to do things differently – not because there is an imminent threat, but because it needs to future proof itself.
Working in partnership to support a vibrant town centre
Town centres and high streets face unprecedented change as online shopping takes customers away from the traditional retail offer. Overall Letchworth’s town centre continues to perform relatively well. To respond to these fundamental changes, town centres are diversifying with a greater focus on leisure, experiences, and local services as well as increasing residential opportunities to attract visitors alongside the shopping offer.
In 2019, the Letchworth Town Centre Strategy Group was set up to lead and help facilitate such change locally. Along with North Herts Council, the local Business improvement District, LEP and Garden Square Shopping Centre, we are working together to identify opportunities to support and develop the town centre. This has included discussions about the potential development of a new integrated health hub as well as supporting the existing programme of town centre events and improving town centre management.
A Great Place to Live – what we will do in 2020:
- Continue to work in partnership with the LEP and other partners for the benefit of Letchworth.
- Review the potential and viability for town centre based co-working spaces as well as finding out more about what it is like to set up a business in Letchworth and how our local entrepreneurs can be better supported.
- Look at the long-term future of our industrial real estate and how it needs to evolve to meet 21st century business needs and the wider geo-economic opportunities of the area.
- Carry out a town centre health check to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the town centre. Develop a multi-agency town centre strategy.
- Work with the BID to support the ‘greening’ of the town centre.
Read more about Letchworth businesses:
Furniture makers Wicked Mata
3D printing and model maker Ogle Models
Garden City Brewery
Flooring manufacturers Altro
Medical education and publishing business E4H
Enchanted Day Nursery
Business networking referral organisation BNI
Car care products business Autoglym
Web and digital development business Guile Digital
Vegan restaurant Vutie Beets
Plastic-free store Bamboo Turtle
About the Local Enterprise Partnership
The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) brings businesses and the public sector together to target investment to ensure that enterprises, communities and people thrive.