Capital growth targeted as London signs up to local enterprise network

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A new local enterprise partnership to lead local growth for London’s firms was today given the green light by Decentralisation Minister, Greg…

A new local enterprise partnership to lead local growth for London’s firms was today given the green light by Decentralisation Minister, Greg Clark and Minister for Business, Mark Prisk.

The London Mayor and a leading business person will co-chair the city’s new local enterprise Board, which will bring together the capital’s political and business leaders, local boroughs and universities with the aim of making London the world capital of business.

There are now 31 local enterprise partnerships across the country since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper was published in October last year. Local enterprise partnerships now cover over 87 per cent of the population, 1.8 million businesses and 20 million employees.

Ministers believe this announcement is a strong testament to the ambition and enthusiasm that local enterprise partnerships are inspiring across the country to revitalise the economy and create growth from the ground up.

The London proposal, which will help to ensure the Mayor’s aim for London to have the most competitive business environment in the world, has the support of London Councils (representing the support of all London boroughs), London First, the London Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Greg Clark said:

I’m delighted to be able to invite London to begin appointing its local enterprise partnership board today. This partnership has the ambition, big ideas and clout needed to create economic growth in the capital from the ground up. We are continuing to put London’s future firmly in the hands of Londoners.

Nearly 90 per cent of the population now has a local enterprise partnership set to promote jobs and prosperity in their local area. This is a testament to the ideas, ambition and innovation you can find at the grassroots.

Local councils, local business and civic leaders who know their area best are coming together to take the reins of their local economy and ensure its future success.

Mark Prisk added:

I am pleased that we are able to ask another local enterprise partnerships to appoint their board. The partnerships have an important role to play in driving local economic growth and creating a strong environment for business.

We are continuing to assess proposals for further partnerships across England, so that soon more local communities will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the private sector and the opportunities that growth brings.

London Councils’ Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Chris Roberts said:

In these tough economic times, it is vital for London Councils, boroughs and the mayor to work closely with businesses to create and support new investment in all areas of London.

It is therefore crucial that the local enterprise partnership operates in a framework which is flexible enough to accommodate borough based initiatives which have been developed locally to address the challenges of economic development.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

This new partnership will bring together a unique mix of business expertise and leadership that understands the needs of every part of the capital to drive forward economic growth. Working together in these difficult economic times, we will ensure no stone is left unturned in creating the right conditions to maximise the opportunities that are out there.

I am confident that building on the economic strategy we already have in place we can ensure that London continues to be the best city in the world for businesses to thrive in.

Local enterprise partnerships will 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.

Ministers also announced today that partnerships are now able to bid for a share of the £4m capacity fund the Prime Minister announced in January. The Fund is intended to help local enterprise partnerships understand the issues facing businesses in their areas. Bids will be considered in light of the different needs identified by each partnership.

The London partnership aims to create new opportunities that build on London’s knowledge base and its world-class Higher Education Institutions as well as supporting private sector job creation. It will also pilot and develop proposals for new and innovative ways of raising public finance.

The London Enterprise Partnership will work in the context of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy, which has the following overarching aims:

  • promote London as the world capital of business

  • ensure that London has the most competitive business environment in the world

  • make London one of the world’s leading low carbon capitals

  • increase economic opportunity

  • maximise the return from investment in the 2012 Olympic Games

Business will have a majority on the Board, which will include business leaders from across London, representatives of London’s growth and employment sectors, pan London Business Leadership organisations, three borough leaders (to be proposed by London Councils) and third sector and higher education institutions.

The London partnership will work closely with the Kent, Essex and East Sussex partnership in also driving the growth of the Thames Gateway, through the new locally led Thames Gateway Strategic Group which met for the first time yesterday.

Londoners are already set to benefit from an unprecedented devolution of power from Whitehall under radical new plans in the Localism Bill that will see the city get greater powers over housing, regeneration, economic development, and Olympic legacy.

Notes to editors

1. In September 2010 the Government received 62 responses to its invitation to form local enterprise partnerships. Proposals covered every part of England outside London. Today the London local enterprise partnership has been asked to set up its board and progress its proposals to the next stage. It joins the 30 partnerships now approved. The total 31 now approved are:

  • Black Country
  • Birmingham and Solihull with E. Staffordshire, Lichfield andTamworth
  • Cheshire and Warrington
  • Coast to Capital
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Cumbria
  • Enterprise M3
  • Gt. Cambridge and Gt. Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hertfordshire
  • Kent, Greater Essex and East Sussex
  • Leeds City Region
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Liverpool City Region
  • New Anglia
  • North Eastern
  • Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire
  • Oxfordshire City Region
  • Sheffield City Region
  • Solent
  • South East Midlands
  • Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Thames Valley Berkshire
  • The Marches
  • West of England
  • Worcestershire
  • York and North Yorkshire
  • London

2. A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from (external link).

3. 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. The letter is available to donwload here:

4. 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
  • coordinating proposals or bidding directly for the Regional Growth Fund
  • supporting high growth businesses, for example through involvement in bids to run the new growth hubs
  • 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
  • coordinating approaches to leverage funding from the private sector
  • exploring opportunities for developing incentives on renewable energy projects and Green Deal
  • involvement in the delivery of other national priorities such as digital infrastructure

Revised proposals from partnerships which have not yet been approved will be welcomed by Government as they become ready.

  1. The £4m Capacity Fund will be spread over four years, £1m per year, and the deadline for bids for the first round closing at midnight on March 31 2011 and the second round will open later this year. Ministers are seeking bids which address gaps in intelligence available to the Partnerships, facilitate business engagement and interaction with Partnerships, or boost board capacity to prioritise actions which will support business-led growth and jobs within the Partnership’s area.

  2. Radical new plans will see the Mayor of London and Borough councils and neighbourhoods handed greater decision making powers over the city’s housing, regeneration, economic development, and Olympic legacy as part of the Localism Bill:


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