Guernsey Press

Investing in finance industry promotion is bearing fruit

Two years after the 2020 General Election, the main States committees have been sharing with the Guernsey Press what they think they have achieved and what their priorities are before the next election in summer 2025. The series continues with Economic Development.

Economic Development committee president Neil Inder (right) and vice-president Steve Falla last year. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31351315)

At the outset of this political term, the Committee for Economic Development prioritised increasing the amount invested in attracting business to the island.

Funding for Guernsey Finance, which works to promote the island’s finance sector, from the States of Guernsey has been increased to £2.5m. per year for 2022 to 2024, more than double what it was during the previous political term. That investment is bearing fruit, with three out of four finance leaders reporting increases in their pipelines of work.

The committee has also worked closely with Policy & Resources to introduce a new credit, lending and finance law.

The committee and its officers are working hard on negotiating new post-Brexit free trade agreements to ensure that local businesses are able to trade their goods and services freely and without trade barriers.

The committee is also keen to ensure that more of the money spent by the States of Guernsey goes to local businesses and supports the local economy.

As a result, around £4m. has been identified which could be spent locally instead of off-island each year, plus further one-off amounts where capital investment is involved. The committee has also continued to support the retail sector. The sector is leading the development of its own Retail Action Plan and this work is enabled by the committee’s grant of £280,000 over three years.

The committee worked closely with Policy & Resources to secure significant investment to speed up the roll-out of fibre broadband across the island, providing highly competitive digital connectivity for businesses, as well as to homes. 700 homes are being connected to the fibre network every month.

The tourism sector is seeing significant private investment with major hotels being built or redeveloped. Tourism has also benefited from significant investment by Economic Development with £1.6m. invested in marketing the visitor economy this year and the establishment of a new destination management organisation.

This investment has supported a strong recovery for the tourism sector post Covid. The committee is also finalising a policy letter that will improve and develop the tourism product which it will submit to the Assembly in the coming months.

Significant progress has already been made across the mandate of Economic Development and further workstreams will be delivered later in this political term, including work on improving air and sea connectivity and the delivery of both an enterprise plan and, working jointly with the Education, Sport and Culture, a human capital development plan.