News story

Business Minister puts focus on growth during North East visit

Tees Valley and North Eastern local enterprise partnerships have been invited to come forward with proposals for the new Enterprise Zones, which…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Tees Valley and North Eastern local enterprise partnerships have been invited to come forward with proposals for the new Enterprise Zones, which will benefit from simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax break for businesses.

Mark Prisk said:

“Both the new local enterprise partnerships in the North East have already identified important priorities such as small business growth and low carbon opportunities. And I am delighted that both of the partnerships I am meeting here will be among those hosting the first Enterprise Zones announced in the Budget, with a strong focus on driving economic growth.

“While diversification is one of the region’s key strengths, manufacturers such as Rio Tinto have contributed to the overall growth in the North East. It has also been heartening to see the work done by organisations such Sustainable Enterprise Strategies to encourage social and community enterprises and create jobs.”

Tomorrow (Thursday 24), Mark Prisk is handing over 15 Nissan Leafs to members of the public as part of a demonstrator project collecting valuable information by allowing them to experience and report on life driving an electric car.

While he is in Sunderland the Minister will also visit a business support hub. Sustainable Enterprise Strategies provides workspace and practical help for small and medium sized enterprises across the region.

He will also tour Rio Tinto Alcan’s power station at Lynemouth which supplies electricity to their aluminium smelting facility. Later he heads to Newcastle where the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership meets for the first time.

Local Enterprise Partnerships are locally led and driven. A total of 31 partnerships have been approved across England and each are now working on plans for how they will proceed, communicating with businesses in their areas.

The partnerships bring together local business and civic leaders, working to support their local economy. They operate within a geography that reflects natural economic areas and will provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.

**Notes to editors:

  1. The Tees Valley local enterprise partnership consists of 660,400 residents and 15, 635 active enterprises (so 23.7 enterprises per 1,000 residents). It has 277,700 residents in employment (aged 16-64) and an unemployment rate of about 10.5%. The public sector accounts for 26.5% of employee jobs.

  2. The Tees Valley LEP includes the local authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton on Tees.

  3. The Tees Valley LEP has already formed their interim board, and it is chaired by local industrialist Sandy Anderson. The Interim Board Members are:

  • Sandy Anderson (Chair), Chairman Ensus UK Ltd
  • Alison Thain, CEO, Fabrick
  • Paul Booth, President, SABIC UK Petrochemicals
  • Martyn Pellew, PD Ports
  • Alastair MacColl, CEO, Business & Enterprise NE
  • Prof Graham Henderson, University of Teesside
  • Councillor George Dunning, Leader, Redcar & Cleveland BC (LAB)
  • Councillor John Williams, Leader, Darlington BC (LAB)
  • Councillor Ken Lupton, Leader, Stockton on Tees BC (CON)
  • Stuart Drummond, Mayor, Hartlepool BC (IND)
  • Ray Mallon, Mayor, Middlesbrough BC (IND)
  1. The partnership is already identifying the priorities for the area and these include: greening of process industries, diversification, small business growth and skills.

  2. The North Eastern local enterprise partnership consists of 1,923,900 residents and 48,025 active enterprises (so 25.0 enterprises per 1,000 residents). It has 832,800 residents in employment (aged 16-24) and an unemployment rate of about 9.7%. The public sector accounts for 27.6% of employee jobs.

  3. The North Eastern LEP is made up of the local authorities within the areas of Tyne & Wear, Co Durham and Northumberland (comprising North Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Co Durham and Northumberland).

  4. The North Eastern LEP recently appointed Paul Walker (ex CEO of Sage plc - the only FTSE 100 company in the NE). He will be responsible for overseeing initial development of the partnership, appointment of a permanent Chair and recruitment of the Board, and leading on preparation of the first business plan.

  5. Priorities for the partnership include low carbon - both the manufacture of offshore wind turbines and the automotive sector (electric vehicles).

  6. In September 2010 the Government received 62 responses to its invitation to form local enterprise partnerships. The 31 partnerships approved since October are:

  • Black Country
  • Birmingham & Solihull with E. Staffordshire, Lichfield & Tamworth
  • Cheshire and Warrington
  • Coast to Capital
  • Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
  • Coventry & Warwickshire
  • Cumbria
  • Enterprise M3
  • Gt. Cambridge & Gt. Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hertfordshire
  • Kent, Greater Essex & East Sussex
  • Leeds City Region
  • Leicester & Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Liverpool City Region
  • London
  • New Anglia
  • North Eastern
  • Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby, & Derbyshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Sheffield City Region
  • Solent
  • South East Midlands
  • Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Thames Valley Berkshire
  • The Marches
  • West of England
  • Worcestershire
  • York and North Yorkshire
  1. Taken together, these 31 partnerships represent:
  • 1.8 million or 87% of all businesses (active enterprises) in England
  • 20m employees (employee jobs figures) or 68% of all employees in England and;
  • A population of 45 million or 87% of England’s population.
  1. A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from

  2. Proposals for partnerships were assessed in line with the expectations set out in the 29 June 2010 letter from the Business Secretary and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

  3. Specifically, the Local Growth White Paper proposes that local enterprise partnerships will be able to consider a diverse range of roles, reflecting the differing local priorities in different areas, including:

  • working with Government to set out key investment priorities, including transport infrastructure;
  • co-ordinating proposals or bidding directly for the Regional Growth Fund;
  • Supporting high growth businesses;
  • Participation in the development of national planning policy and ensuring business is involved in the consideration of strategic planning applications;
  • Lead changes in how businesses are regulated locally;
  • Strategic housing delivery, including pooling and aligning funding streams;
  • Working with local employers, Jobcentre Plus and learning providers to help local workless people into jobs;
  • Co-ordinating approaches to leverage funding from the private sector;
  • Exploring opportunities for developing incentives on renewable energy projects and Green Deal; and
  • Involvement in the delivery of other national priorities such as digital infrastructure
  1. Revised proposals from partnerships which have not yet been approved will be welcomed by Government as they become ready.

  2. The local enterprise partnership capacity fund will help the partnerships to understand business issues in their area. The fund will be £4 million over four years, and ministers are seeking bids which address gaps in intelligence available to partnerships; facilitate business engagement and interaction with partnerships; or boost board capacity to prioritise actions which will support business-led growth and jobs within a partnerships’ area. The closing date for bids to the first round is March 31.

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See []( for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Rebecca Murrell Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 6403 Fax



Published 23 March 2011