A PLAN to beat the recession is being given government backing.
Huddersfield University vice-chancellor Prof Bob Cryan is leading the way forward after developing an action plan to help the local community.
Prof Cryan came up with a pledge of action to help the town and local businesses deal with the effects of the economic downturn.
And now his master-plan has gained wider support, getting the backing of government minister Rosie Winterton.
All of Yorkshire’s universities have also signed up to the plan to help their own communities, staff and students.
Prof Cryan welcomed the move and said: “As large employers of over 33,000 staff who make a significant contribution to our local economy it is clear that we can assist businesses in meeting the challenges this recession brings.
“This is not only through continuing and, where possible, bringing forward building and maintenance projects, but also offering our expertise to help businesses take advantage of all possible opportunities and to emerge from the recession ready to grow again.”
The pledge includes paying promptly, backing the local economy, promoting job vacancies with the Job Centre and bringing building work forward.
Yorkshire minister Rosie Winterton said: “I very much welcome the fact that all our higher educational bodies from across Yorkshire and the Humber have signed up to this economic pledge.
“The combined economic power of Yorkshire universities is of enormous benefit to this region and their commitment to the pledge should not be under-estimated.”
The vice-chancellors of Yorkshire’s universities signed a motion backing the pledge at Huddersfield University.
They have a combined turnover of £1,429bn – generating around £2.8bn in output to the regional economy.
It is hoped that by signing the pledge, the universities will work together to alleviate some of the hardships caused to staff and the local communities by the economic downturn.
Huddersfield University is also aiming to help its students graduate with the best preparation for finding employment during challenging times with a bursary available for further studies.
Ms Winterton added: “There has never been a more important time for public sector organisations to take all measures at their disposal to help their local communities.
“Local and timely action can be of major help to residents and business communities in dealing with the impact of the economic downturn.”