Local Enterprise Partnerships – does this mean new opportunities for business coaches and consultants?
The government has recently given the green light to 24 partnerships between local businesses and councils to replace regional development agencies (RDAs).
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has recently launched a white paper on regional growth, said these partnerships would be given the powers over planning, infrastructure, and inward investment. He also said he would introduce a duty to cooperate over planning between different local authorities
Cable said that 24 groups of local authorities and private companies had successfully bid over the summer to form so-called local enterprise partnerships, which will replace RDAs when they are abolished in April 2012. He added; “The knowledge and expertise of the private sector, local authorities and their local communities will be crucial as we work to create a better environment for business and ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities that growth brings.
One of the aims of the new LEP is to create a fairer and more balanced economy – one that is driven by private sector growth with business opportunities spread more evenly across the country and between industries.
Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles said: “Over the last decade, the country’s economy became skewed by artificial boundaries and top-down prescription that did not work. We want to create a fairer and more balanced economy driven by private sector strength, and our plan for local growth will create local enterprise partnerships, reform the planning system and introduce development incentives for local authorities, like allowing them to keep their business rates, so all parts of the country benefit.”
Will LEPs make a difference? When will they begin operating? These are key questions business leaders want to know.
The successful bids are:
Birmingham & Solihull with East Staffordshire, Lichfield &Tamworth
Cheshire and Warrington
Coast to Capital: Brighton and Hove, Croydon, the Gatwick Diamond and West Sussex
Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
Coventry & Warwickshire
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough
Kent, Greater Essex & East Sussex
Leeds City Region
Leicester & Leicestershire
Liverpool City Region
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby, & Derbyshire
Oxfordshire City Region
Sheffield City Region
South East Midlands
Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
Thames Valley Berkshire
West of England