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 – the first of its kind in the country.
This first Civic 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.
Professor Shearer West, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to working with our City and regional partners to bring about positive change for the people who live, work or visit Nottingham.”
Professor West added: “We are at a critical point in global history with our communities experiencing the devastating social and economic repercussions of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to work together to drive local recovery and renewal.
“Today, we acknowledge the integral link between our universities and the city and county we are proud to call home. We are bound by a shared vision to enhance prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for current and future generations in our region.”
Professor Edward Peck, President and Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “We shared our ambition for collaboration across both universities and our partners at the launch of Universities for Nottingham in January. At the time we could not have envisaged just how essential that collaboration would be to helping our region recover from one of the toughest global economic and social crises it would face.
“Today’s Civic Agreement is the result of the universities and our partners pulling together to establish not just what we can achieve together, but how we will set about doing so as we help drive local recovery and strive to build back better.”
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.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I’m proud that key organisations from across the whole of Nottinghamshire are coming together at this challenging time. This agreement will be instrumental in strengthening alliances and help to make Nottinghamshire an even better place to live, work, learn and invest. Our two world-class universities are key to developing the innovation, skills and talent needed to support the local economy, which is more important than ever.”
Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “This civic agreement recognises that the two universities play a valuable role in our city life, culturally, economically and socially. Students from across the country come to Nottingham and add to our vibrant and diverse communities, many of whom stay here and then contribute further to the city.
“The Universities for Nottingham initiative recognises the challenges we face in the city and that by coming together with the city council and other partners, we can all work together to improve the sustainability, health and economy of the city. I welcome this contribution to the city and look forward to making real strides for Nottingham people together.”