I have been concerned with how we can remedy the problems of our town since the report which put us bottom in the average wages league.

I am heartened that the recent House of Lords Report has recognised that something must be done, and the Echo has featured this.

Analysing how our town has changed from its former status as a thriving and successful town until the 1990’s I turned to a report by the Centre for Cities on how to become a thriving city or town. Its conclusion was that it needed to have KIBS (Knowledge Intensive Business’s) in its catchment. This town has certainly lost these since those former thriving days , namely AUWE., Winfrith Atomic Energy Research Establishment(many employees lived in the Town), Portland Dockyard, Teacher Training College, District General Hospital (with its associated Weymouth and Dorset Royal Eye Infirmary, Ear,Nose and Throat Hospital and Moffat House ),the Coastguard and the Council Offices. We also had the Head Office staff of major companies such as Devenish , Groves , Webb Major and others.

We have been told in the House of Lords report that the seaside towns of Brighton and Bournemouth have reinvented themselves. Both these towns are connected to London and the Motorway network by dual carriageway roads and enjoy faster train links than we do. To remedy our position to what they enjoy would involve multi million pound schemes which even if they were likely would take years to build. But both these towns (sorry Brighton is a City)have a University.

The Echo reported some time ago that Weymouth College applied for LEP money for expanding its Engineering Department but was not successful. This must be remedied and cannot the college be enabled to attain University status by even further investment in this and other departments, including its respected Stonemasonry Department.

Seaside towns are well suited to hosting large numbers of students as they can occupy holiday accommodation which will be unused in term time, and they will give added support to the local economy in the quiet season. Lecturers and Research Fellows will be needed, our local engineering companies will have access to a a pool of qualified labour and be able to expand, and new companies may be attracted to the area.

Once again we may have KIBS in our town.


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