Greg Clark has underlined the vital role of local growth and the importance of 'place' in the government’s industrial strategy.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has underlined the vital role of local growth and the importance of ‘place’ in developing and delivering the government’s comprehensive industrial strategy during a visit to Belfast today (11 August 2016).

For the first time, all ministers in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will act as local growth champions across the United Kingdom and will be tasked with building relationships with a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Ministers will also engage with businesses and local leaders in the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and will act as a first point of contact for respective LEPs in England within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

Government has helped transform the business landscape by putting power back into the hands of local communities and businesses to drive economic growth. To make sure every corner of the UK benefits, I am giving ministers in my team geographic areas of responsibility so they can build on existing relationships to better connect government policy with the businesses and industries we’re working with.

This is part of our plan to build an economy that works for all. An effective industrial strategy has to recognise and take advantage of the differences and unique strengths that exist across the country, and I will be encouraging all my ministers to get out there and meet the people who know their area best.

The announcement was made as the Business and Energy Secretary visited Belfast today (11 August 2016) with Industry and Energy Minister Jesse Norman, who has been appointed the lead for Northern Ireland. During the visit, the Business and Energy Secretary hosted a roundtable with leading local firms from the maritime, energy and engineering sectors.

Industry and Energy Minister Jesse Norman said:

A key part of the government’s industrial strategy will be to try to ensure that industries in Northern Ireland have the support and infrastructure they need to thrive.

That is why it’s important we’re in Belfast today, listening to businesses that support the local economy. I look forward to working with them and others in future.

Notes to editors

  1. LEPs – which bring together local authorities and businesses to champion local firms and promote inward investment – will be able to raise issues with the department or highlight areas of particular success that they want the government to be aware of.
  2. Since April 2016 every one of the 39 LEPs across England has a dedicated Growth Hub which brings together public and private sector partners to promote, co-ordinate and deliver business support.
  3. By 2017 there will also be 48 Enterprise Zones in place, where businesses benefit from incentives such as business rate discounts to start-up and grow.

List of ministerial allocations:

Nick Hurd

  • Leeds City Region
  • Humber
  • York and North Yorkshire
  • Sheffield City Region
  • D2N2 (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire)
  • Greater Lincolnshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • London

Baroness Neville-Rolfe

  • Cumbria
  • Lancashire
  • Swindon and Wiltshire
  • Dorset
  • Buckinghamshire Thames Valley
  • Thames Valley Berkshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • South East Midlands
  • Hertfordshire

Jo Johnson

  • Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough
  • New Anglia
  • South East
  • Coast to Capital (area from South London to the coast of Brighton)
  • Greater Manchester
  • Solent
  • Enterprise M3 (M3 Corridor)
  • Cheshire and Warrington

Margot James

  • Greater Birmingham and Solihull
  • Black Country
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Gloucestershire
  • Liverpool City Region

Jesse Norman

  • Tees Valley
  • North Eastern
  • The Marches
  • Oxfordshire
  • West of England
  • Heart of the South West
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Devolved Nations

  • Northern Ireland – Jesse Norman
  • Scotland – Baroness Neville-Rolfe
  • Wales – Nick Hurd