Proponents of the Community Economic Road Map are sharing their successes so far, but admit there’s plenty of work still to be done.
Hundreds of people attended Wednesday morning’s event at the London Convention Centre where officials provided a one year progress update, and laid out plans for the future.
At around this time last year, council endorsed the document that outlined five priorities for creating jobs and growing the economy. Since then, an Advisory Panel and five action teams have been working to implement a total of 96 initiatives by the year 2020.
After one year, around 12 per cent have been completed – and another 12 per cent haven’t been started yet – while almost 75 per cent are on target.
Dr. Michael Strong is the Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and one of the leaders of the action team focusing on developing a National Centre of Excellence for Medical Innovation & Commercialization.
“One of the big areas we’ve been able to move forward is attracting new industry to the city. Particularly on the medical innovation side,” said Dr. Strong.
“We’ll be making an announcement in the very, very near future about Renishaw coming to join us. This is a major multinational, one of the world’s leaders in 3D printing, that is partnering with us in London through both this economic road-map and what’s going on at the university and through our health sector, to say ‘you know what, we want to bring our development technologies here’.”
One of the recurring themes of the update was a call for residents and business leaders to promote London’s successes to the rest of the world, and Mayor Matt Brown agreed.
“This is a great city, we are the 11th largest city in Canada. We need to tell our story and we need to tell it far and wide,” said Brown.
“It’s extremely exciting to see hundreds of people come together a year after this work began to check in, to check in and say here’s what’s working and recognize the only way to accomplish these goals is by working together.”
Concerns were raised during the event about the number of local business owners involved on the ground floor, Advisory Panel member and Councillor Tanya Park is encouraging those who can to get involved.
“Each one of those action teams is quite open to having more participants come to the table, because it’s business owners that have that local expertise,” said Councillor Tanya Park. “And also, where are they having trouble locally where we can fix those problems, because if they don’t know about those problems we can’t fix them.”
A complete list of the initiatives and the progress that’s been made so far can be found on the city’s website.
With files from Natalie Lovie and Craig Needles.