56 New Local Enterprise Partnerships

Following the closing date for submissions for Local Enterprise Partnership proposals, the government has confirmed that it has received 56 proposals from across the country.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Business Secretary Vince Cable have praised the commitment and ambition shown by councils and businesses to form LEPs, the organisations that the coalition Government intend to replace the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

Apparently there are some quite radical approaches in some of the proposals and Ministers have been impressed with what they’ve seen so far. The proposals have identified a wide variety of challenges facing local economies and have proposed innovative solutions to tackling these challenges.

The Government is keen for these Local Enterprise Partnerships to stay proactive and maintain momentum thereby allowing local areas to forge their own economic development and push private sector growth.

Eric Pickles said:

“These 56 local enterprise partnership proposals are just the beginning of a new radical way of delivering prosperity and rebalancing the economy.”

“We are facing economic problems that need solutions from local communities. The secret to the success of local enterprise partnerships will be working on the basis of local economic geography – gone are the artificial political regions of RDAs – this will better serve the needs of local business. “The bureaucracy of Regional Development Agencies gave local authorities little reason to engage creatively with economic issues. Local enterprise partnerships are a way of tying council and business interests together, and creating the conditions for business to thrive and prosper.”

Vince Cable added:

“Business leadership in local enterprise partnerships is critical. Mark Prisk and I have met many leading groups including the CBI, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the British Chambers of Commerce who have all contributed their thoughts to how it should work. It is clear that there must be genuine partnership between business and local government and that local enterprise partnerships should be practical bodies for promoting enterprise, not talking shops.”

“Trade and investment promotion, sector leadership, innovation, business support and access to finance will in future be led nationally, though with devolved local management in many cases. This still leaves huge scope for local initiatives to promote enterprise. The outcome will vary just as local economic priorities differ across the country. In some areas, there might be a focus on skills. In others, local enterprise partnerships may help set priorities for planning and infrastructure decisions. The key is that these partnerships are built from the bottom-up and will have the flexibility to determine their own agenda, rather than have it handed down to them by Whitehall.”

Ministers will consider the Local Enterprise Partnership proposals in detail over the coming weeks and provide feedback to partnerships ahead of the publication of the White Paper on local economic growth and the introduction of the new Localism Bill.

The Regional Growth Fund, the £1bn fund announced in the Budget, has also now closed for consultation. The two-year Regional Growth Fund is intended to proivde support for sustainable economic growth projects and create new private sector jobs, particularly in areas that have traditionally been reliant on public sector employment.

350 reponses to the Regional Growth Fund consultation were received from business groups, trade associations, local authorities, universities and evironmental organisations. The Government will respond in time in a further White Paper.

The full list of Local Enterprise Partnerships is as follows:

  1. Bexley, Dartford, and Gravesham
  2. Birmingham and Solihull with East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth
  3. Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
  4. Brighton and Hove, Croydon, the Gatwick Diamond and West Sussex  – Coast to Capital
  5. Cheshire and Warrington
  6. County Durham
  7. Coventry and Warwickshire
  8. Cumbria
  9. Devon, Plymouth and Torbay
  10. East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and North Essex)
  11. East Sussex
  12. Empowering Enterprise – Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  13. Enterprise M3 – Covers parts of Hampshire and Surrey including Andover, Basingstoke, Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet, Hook and Camberley
  14. Fylde Coast, Lancashire
  15. Gatwick Diamond
  16. Gloucester, Swindon and Wiltshire
  17. Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough
  18. Greater Lincolnshire
  19. Greater Manchester
  20. Hampshire
  21. Heart of the South West
  22. Hertfordshire
  23. Hull, East Riding & Scarborough
  24. Humber
  25. Kent and Medway
  26. Kent-Essex
  27. Lancashire
  28. Leeds City Region
  29. Leicester and Leicestershire
  30. Liverpool City Region
  31. Newcastle Gateshead
  32. Norfolk
  33. North East
  34. Northamptonshire
  35. Northumberland and North Tyneside
  36. Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire
  37. Oxfordshire City Region
  38. Pennine Lancashire
  39. Sheffield City Region
  40. Solent
  41. South East Midlands
  42. South Somerset and East Devon
  43. South Tyneside and Sunderland
  44. Stoke-on -Trent and Staffordshire
  45. Surrey Connects
  46. Tees Valley
  47. Thames Valley Berkshire
  48. Thames Valley Buckinghamshire
  49. The Black Country
  50. The Marches Enterprise Partnership – Shropshire and Herefordshire
  51. The Peel Group – Atlantic Gateway – Liverpool and Manchester
  52. Visitor Economy Southern England
  53. West Midlands
  54. West of England
  55. Worcestershire
  56. York and North Yorkshire

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