Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and enterprise zones


Our economy is currently too dependent on a narrow range of industry sectors. We need an economy driven by private sector growth, with business opportunities evenly balanced across the country and between industries. We also need to reduce burdens for businesses, particularly in terms of lower tax levels, planning and other administrative burdens.


We’ve worked with local authorities to create local enterprise partnerships across the whole country.

We’ve created 24 enterprise zones across England. For information on each of the zones go to the Enterprise Zones website.

The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport have created the £730 million Growing Places Fund. The fund is used by local enterprise partnerships to support infrastructure.


Local enterprise partnerships

In the coalition agreement, the government committed to establishing local enterprise partnerships to replace the Regional Development Agencies.

In June 2010 we invited businesses and councils to come together to form local enterprise partnerships whose geography properly reflects the natural economic areas of England.

The local growth white paper, published in October 2010, set out the roles that local enterprise partnerships can play depending on their local priorities.

The spreadsheet lists the local authority (district/unitary) areas covered by each local enterprise partnership.

Enterprise zones

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the first 11 zones in the 2011 Budget. The government has now created 24 enterprise zones.

The Department for Communities and Local Government published the Enterprise zone prospectus the day after the Budget announcement. The prospectus gives more information to local enterprise partnerships, local authorities and partners about the government’s enterprise zone programme.

University enterprise zones

As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, a new £15 million pilot scheme will allow universities to push through local growth plans and support entrepreneurship and innovation.

University enterprise zones will provide funding to locations across England. The zones will allow business spaces to be built that can host a range of new high-tech companies in the early stages of their development. These innovative small businesses will then be able to share the expert knowledge at the university, helping them to grow and prosper. A competition is being held to select 3 to 4 pilot zones.

View/download the application form and guidance to bid for pilot scheme funding. The deadline for bids is 5pm on 31 March 2014.

Who we’re working with

Enterprise zones have been awarded to, and are being led by, local enterprise partnerships.

A local enterprise partnership network has been set up to help local enterprise partnerships share knowledge and ideas. Membership of the network is open to representatives of all local enterprise partnerships in England.