He met with the partnership at Bedford i-lab this morning to hear about the partnership’s plans for appointing its board and the main objectives and priorities it hopes to address.
During his roundtable with the partnership and local business leaders, they discussed how they would drive growth in the local economy.
The partnership covers Bedford, Central Bedforshire, Luton, Milton Keynes, Aykesbury Vale, Cherwell, Dacorum, Northampton, Corby, Daventry, Kettering and South Northamptonshire.
Mark Prisk said:
“Meeting with the South East Midlands partnership was valuable in helping me to understand what the local challenges are and how the partnerships’ vision will help to address them.
“The representatives I met have exceptional local knowledge and we discussed their ideas for the future and how they will put their action plans into practice. I have every confidence that they will be a success and look forward to hearing more about their progress.
“I will continue to meet more partnerships across England in the coming weeks and months to hear about their concerns, their successes and most importantly how they plan to make a contribution to economic growth in their area.”
Yesterday (Thursday) the Business Minister announced a range of measures to help local enterprise partnerships get up and running, and to support them in their ambitions for growth.
The measures include a one off £5 million Start Up Fund to help partnerships get on a sustainable financial footing. This funding could cover costs for such things as new office equipment and training. An online toolbox will provide partnerships with information on government economic development policies and how national and local initiatives can dovetail to help local businesses and entrepreneurs. Partnerships now also have relationship managers in BIS Local offices who will act as a single point of contact for information and guidance.
The South East Midlands local enterprise partnership is one of the first 24 that were announced in October when the Government published its white paper on local growth.
Local enterprise partnerships bring together local business and civic leaders, working to support their local economy. They 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.
Notes to editors
The South East Midlands LEP covers a population of 1.8 million people, and 76,000 active enterprises.
In September 2010 the Government received 62 responses to its invitation to form local enterprise partnerships. Proposals covered every part of England outside London. The total 33 now approved 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 Heart of the South West
- The Marches
- West of England
- York and North Yorkshire
- Taken together, these 33 partnerships represent:
1.9 million or 93 per cent of all businesses (active enterprises) in England
21 million employees (employee jobs figures) or 93 per cent of all employees in England and;
A population of 48 million or 93 per cent of England’s population.
A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/leps
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](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_. _
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Notes to Editors
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