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Ministers set out recommendations for LEPs to supercharge economic growth and drive forward investment in local businesses

25 July 2018

Yesterday, (24 July 2018) Ministers published their review of LEPs which set out new proposals to supercharge economic growth and investment in local businesses. 

The publication of the ‘Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships’ review sees government delivering on its promise in the Industrial Strategy white paper to bring forward reforms to the leadership, governance and accountability of the 38 LEPs charged with promoting economic growth and creating jobs.

The review proposes a number of changes to boost the performance of LEPs, increase their diversity and ensure they’re operating in an open and transparent way. The key areas covered by the review were:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Leadership and organisational capacity, including increasing representation and diversity on LEP Boards
  • Accountability and performance 
  • LEP geographies and boundaries

The Communities Secretary, Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:

"This publication of the Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships policy represents a step change in approach for LEPs. We will continue our work to strengthen these leading institutions to develop ambitious strategies for growth and build an economy which is fit for the future.

The network of 38 LEPs broadly welcomed publication of the government’s Review. It will enable LEPs to continue to build on their strengths as unique business led local organisations, brokering business partnerships, developing local Industrial Strategies, and setting the economic direction that shapes the local area. 

In return for building their reformed role, LEP business leaders want to see a commitment from government to the funding and means to deliver the scale of opportunity that the review offers.  LEP leaders also want to see a joint commitment from government departments to the localism agenda, and confirmation that LEPs will oversee the local allocations of the UKSPF. 

Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, Chair of SEMLEP, said:

"I warmly welcome this timely review and applaud the government for undertaking it. 

 “It will enable LEPs to strengthen our governance, emphasize our key business partnership role in economic development and in raising levels of productivity across the country at a critical point in the UK’s history.”

Read the full review: Strengthening Local Enterprise Partnerships

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