Nottingham’s two universities, together with the City and County’s Local Authorities, hospitals and Local Enterprise Partnership, have launched the Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement.
This Agreement, which announces more than a dozen initiatives that will take place over the coming year, harnesses the collective will of the City and County’s biggest institutions to deliver meaningful change for the people and place of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The development of the agreement was accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is focused on a number of measures, which will be delivered by the universities and the other signatories to help drive economic revival and protect jobs. For example, over the next three years, both universities will continue to work in collaboration with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, both Councils and other partners to deliver SME and enterprise programmes, which will now be aligned to local COVID-19 recovery plans to support more than 2,000 businesses and create over 1,000 new jobs.
The inaugural Civic Agreement has been signed by both vice-chancellors and the leaders of six other major organisations in the city and county, including both local authorities and NHS organisations.
Across more than a dozen initiatives, it sets out a plan of collective action for the next year, covering five themes; Economic prosperity, Educational opportunity, Environmental sustainability, Health and wellbeing and Unlocking the universities.
Among the initiatives beginning immediately is joint work to ensure the safe and secure return of students to Nottingham from September and the development of a longer-term student living and regeneration strategy which both recognises the vital role they play in supporting businesses and jobs, as well as the importance of building stronger relationships between students and local residents. The universities have already been working closely with Public Health England and local public health officials to develop a nationally-commended Local Outbreak Plan with a strong focus on higher education. The Local Resilience Forum and both universities have also established a dedicated taskforce to support the safe return of students; looking at the role they play in the local economy, how to ensure positive community relations and how local partners and businesses can work together with the universities to offer a warm welcome in the autumn.