The Chairs from the 31 approved partnerships were invited to meet with ministers, including Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, to discuss the vital role that local enterprise partnerships will play in driving forward growth in their communities, and rebalancing the economy across the country.
The Deputy Prime Minister also announced today that the successful bids to the Regional Growth Fund would be announced shortly and that the second round of the fund would open on April 12. He also announced that due to the number of high quality bids received the funding allocated to the first round may increase.
The Prime Minister said:
“Local enterprise partnerships are fundamental to the growth agenda. We believe that local people and local business leaders know best what works in their area.
“That’s why we are shifting power from Whitehall and quangos to the local communities and local businesses who really understand the barriers to growth in their areas. An approach where partnerships are formed over parts of the country people actually identify with and that make sense to business and reflect markets, rather than the old arbitrary regional boundaries.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“Local Enterprise Partnerships are emblematic of the real power shift away from central Government towards local communities and the local businesses which will be at the heart of growth in their areas
“It is vital that we rebalance our economy to make it more resilient and more sustainable. The new economy we need to build will be more evenly spread, across all of our regions and between the different sectors of our economy, producing more of the goods and services required by the Green Economy of the future
“That is why today’s summit is so important. Rebalancing the economy will only be possible with the help of vibrant partnerships that bring together the best expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector and local government.”
Vince Cable said:
“Meeting with local enterprise partnerships and hearing their successes and their plans for the future has been incredibly useful. I’m confident that partnerships will be sufficiently armed with local knowledge and power to play a huge role in helping address the imbalance between local economies and boosting growth across the sectors.
“Excellent progress has been made so far in setting up the new partnerships and I hope soon everyone will be benefitting from the plans for local growth we’ve heard about today.”
Government Ministers also confirmed their support for the formation of an Association of Local Enterprise Partnerships that will help them support shared learning, information exchange and better networking.
Eric Pickles said:
“Local enterprise partnerships now cover 90 per cent of the country and today’s summit shows how important the voice of local councils, local business and civic leaders, will be as they take the reins of their local economies and move forward with their own plans to rebalance the national economy, promote local jobs and local prosperity.
“We think an Association of Local Enterprise Partnerships is a great idea so we’re going to help get it up and running as soon as possible so the network can deliver their growth ambitions”
Dr Cable and Mr Pickles were also joined by Business Minister Mark Prisk and Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark at the Summit. A series of breakout sessions were held with the partnerships to hear first-hand how they plan to drive enterprise in their area.
In January the Prime Minister also announced a local enterprise partnership capacity fund of £4 million, the first round of which, with an allocation of £1 million, opened for bids from the partnerships last month. This money will help the partnerships understand the issues their local businesses face.
Local enterprise 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 provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.
Notes to editors
The summit took place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
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
- Enterprise M3
- Gt. Cambridge & Gt. Peterborough
- Greater Manchester
- Kent, Greater Essex & East Sussex
- Leeds City Region
- Leicester & Leicestershire
- Liverpool City Region
- New Anglia
- North Eastern- Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby, & Derbyshire
- Oxfordshire City Region
- Sheffield City Region
- South East Midlands
- Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
- Tees Valley
- Thames Valley Berkshire
- The Marches
- West of England
- York and North Yorkshire
- Taken together, these 31 partnerships represent:
- 1.8m 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 45m or 87% of England’s population.
A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from http://geocommons.com/maps/32888
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: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/regional/docs/10-1026-final-letter-local-enterprise-partnerships
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_. _
The local enterprise partnership capacity fund will help the partnerships to understand business issues in their area. The fund will be £4m 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.
The £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund received 464 bids totalling £2.7bn in the first round. Money will be allocated to bids which demonstrate innovative ways of encouraging enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support regions that are dependent on the public sector.
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Notes to Editors
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