The Region of Durham’s Economic Development and Tourism strategic plan was due for an update. Beyond dramatic local transformation as a result of booming population growth, the global pandemic has permanently changed the nature of work, the pace of innovation, and Durham’s demographics and economy.
A new bold and transformative strategy was needed to set the course of regional economic development for the coming five years. To achieve this, a comprehensive analysis was commissioned to review and consider economic and demographic data, exploring the most impactful global drivers of change for the next ten years. A Steering Committee was assembled, comprised of a diverse group of leaders from Durham to advise the process. Collaborative sessions were held which included more than 80 of the Region’s economic partners. The sessions identified shared, bold, transformative, and innovative economic aspirations that looked 30 years into the future. With that future in mind, four long-term aspirations for Durham’s economic transformation were created, and measures of success were identified. Using these aspirational visions, and together with research and analysis, we collaboratively identified high-value opportunities to grow the regional economy.
From there, concrete action items were identified for the Economic Development and Tourism Division to pursue over the coming five years. The resulting action plan, together with the 30 year long term vision, will send Durham Region confidently down a path toward achieving bold economic transformation.
“Ready Set Future” sets out a plan to support the creation of economic opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds, identities, abilities, lifestyles and life stages; and aims to create an inclusive prosperous future for everyone. The “PLACE”-based approach is a vision based on People, Location, Acceleration, and Creativity, and supported by a set of Enablers.
PEOPLE: Durham will be a leader in Ontario for workforce skill and education
LOCATION: Durham will capitalize on potential for strong intensification and
renewal in urban cores, and grow vibrancy and diversity in the downtowns.
ACCELERATION: Durham’s innovative businesses will continue to solve
CREATIVITY: Durham will have a distinct creative and cultural identity for its
vibrant base of creative businesses, cultural institutions, galleries,
entertainment venues, and homegrown talent.
ENABLERS: Collaboration, resourcing and metrics will enable success.
Ready Set Future will be supported by other more detailed action plans. Some have already been completed like the Local Food BR&E Project Plan, Growing Agri-Good Durham, Vibrant North Durham Plans and Invest Durham Marketing Action Plan. Others are planned or near completion such as the Durham Tourism Action Plan. The plan can be viewed here: https://www.durham.ca/en/economic-development/resources/PDF/2023—2027-Economic-Development-and-Tourism-Strategy-and-Action-Plan.pdf.