Economic development both strongly influences and is influenced by land use planning polices and is of high importance in developing the region’s master plan. The success or failure of economic development will have a profound effect on the future prosperity and character of the region. One of the central purposes of regional planning commissions in New Hampshire is to assist municipalities in coordinating polices for the development of the region, including economic development policies. Approaching economic development regionally can lead to better coordination of investments in infrastructure, workforce development and other areas of need and can magnify their effectiveness in achieving economic development goals.
The RPC partners with the Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire (REDC) which has the lead responsibility for economic development planning in southeastern New Hampshire. The REDC was initially established in the early 1990s during a severe recession caused by a retraction in the housing, construction and banking industries. It was established to cover Rockingham County and funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to development an economic development strategy for the County. Since then, this ongoing planning effort has evolved into what is now the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy”or CEDS, and the REDC itself has expanded to a include a significant portion of Hillsborough County in addition to all of Rockingham County. In addition, the REDC has been designated by EDA as an economic development district, which helps communities, and other public entities in the region gain access to federal economic development grants to fund infrastructure (sewer, water, transportation access) improvements and other investments to support economic development.
Regional Master Plan - Economic Development Chapter
Goal 1 (CEDS): Dynamic, Diverse Economy
The region maintains a diverse, dynamic and creative economy which supports innovative industry clusters and creates high-skill, higher-wage jobs.
Goal 2 (CEDS): Infrastructure Development
Investment in infrastructure improvements, such as roads, bridges, sewer and water facilities, broadband, and multi-modal transportation systems is adequate to support the needs of the regional economy.
Goal 3 (CEDS): Regional Cooperation
Cost-effective regional approaches to shared problems and municipal service sharing are developed which enable more regional cooperation and other intermunicipal solutions.
Goal 4 (CEDS): Workforce Development
The resources available through the workforce development and university/ community college systems are effectively utilized and coordinated to address the training and educational needs of the work force and business community.
Goal 5 (CEDS): Workforce Housing
A diverse mix of workforce-affordable housing options exist in all parts of the region able to live in the region and support a growing workforce for the region’s expanding businesses and new firms.
Goal 6 (CEDS): Environmental Preservation
The high quality of life in the region is maintained through the preservation and restoration of natural, cultural and historic resources and a balanced approach to economic development.
Goal 7: Resilience to Climate Change
Businesses and communities in the region have recognized potential risks and vulnerabilities from climate change and prepared for those threats by protecting and adapting critical infrastructure including culverts, roads, bridges, utilities, and community buildings.
Goal 8: Secure & Efficient Energy Supply
The region has advanced energy developments that diversify energy sources, emphasize cost effective renewable sources and create innovative means to use existing utilities and smart power grids to achieve these ends.