Published: 18 October 2021

‘Charting Surrey’s Post Covid Recovery’ report launched

Written by Will Hitt, Politics BSc (Hons)

Will Hitt
Will Hitt - Politics BSc (Hons)

The Centre for Britain and Europe’s ‘Charting Surrey’s Rescue, Recovery and Growth in the Age of Covid-19 and Brexit’ report is the first of its kind, co-funded between the ESRC IAA and Surrey County Council, it has provided detailed analyses to chart Surrey’s post-covid response and ongoing Brexit preparations. The report focuses on Surrey’s unique clusters vital to its high-value, regional economy, identifying mixed resilience and an uneven spread of economic growth; the report has formed the centrepiece of future action taken by Surrey County Council. The four key policy recommendations from the report are:

  • Improve key digital infrastructure in the county
  • Enhance governance in key areas
  • Consolidate existing Surrey specialisms
  • Keep Surrey healthy and inclusive by retaining the highly skilled youth.

Speakers at the launch event praised the hard work conducted by the team to produce high-class research and conclusions for Surrey County Council to grasp a coherent picture of what post-covid Surrey truly looks like. Lord Hammond had commented ‘Surrey is a brilliant place to work and create business’, and that ‘we have to ensure it remains that way’. Lord Hammond continued ‘if we are to remain competitive, we have to act now’. Rhiannon Mort congratulated the Centre on its reports, findings and conclusions, and explained that these reports of post-covid growth in Surrey can certainly be used by Surrey County Council to deliver the appropriate policy for the future. Kathy Slack had stressed that our future is bright, but ‘we need to work completely differently to achieve significant results’.

Dr Julie Llewelyn pointed out that whilst Surrey has some of the wealthiest boroughs in the nation, it also has boroughs that sit in the poorest 20%, and that there is a wealth and business divide between West and East Surrey, and ‘post-covid, this divide needs to be addressed’; Dr Julie Llewelyn also emphasised that as the 'Charting Surrey’s Post Covid Recovery' report indicates, Surrey is in possession of truly unique clusters of business and innovation, some that must truly be cherished and championed. Chair of the Council Michael Queen, had conversed with Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, Max Lu, about the future of Surrey and they had both asked ‘how do we build it?’. From this, a 5G centre was established which utilises the cooperation of local government and over thirty businesses to achieve excellence in technology; a wealth of knowledge in virology has been acquired with the vast talent of staff such as Oxford’s Professor Gill Elliott, and Surrey now has a talented environmental and sustainability centre. Speeches from the guests speakers underlined that Surrey is in a position to recover from the covid-19 pandemic strongly if the correct action is taken, a stance supported by the Centre of Britain and Euorpe's 'Charting Surrey’s Post Covid Recovery' report.

The Centre produces its innovative and enlightening research by championing student-led content; students are invited to participate in research, analysis, co-authoring articles, blog writing and vlog creating, and participating in public events. These opportunities engage University of Surrey students and build a variety of skills, experience, and connections.

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