As LEPs gear up for the conclusions of the Levelling-Up White Paper and Comprehensive Spending Review, LEP business leaders have identified five core future values that must be taken forward if local communities and businesses are to genuinely feel the benefits of levelling up and local growth.
As business-led partnerships, LEPs are in ongoing discussions with officials and stakeholders to help define exactly what the best form of business representation and support looks like in the future. Based on a ‘what works’ approach, LEPs have identified five clear future values that they can bring to the table:
“This coming autumn, the government will be concluding its Levelling Up White Paper and setting out the spending plans that will impact generations to come.
“For 10 years LEPs have collaborated across the country, using our unique convening power to deliver complex programmes that are transforming local communities and economies.
“Business led, our decisions and programmes are the result of multiple negotiations with all partners, underpinned by published robust evidence, and executed as agreed, on time, on budget and with the promised outcomes.
“Aligning the recommendations of the LEP review with the ambitions of policy is a valuable opportunity to lace in our future value, secure funding to match that policy ambition, and enable us to play our full part as the catalyst to deliver the Plan for Growth and Net Zero.
“We must now get the review done and get on with the job of ensuring that we really do build back better.”
LEPs have built a unique partnership of over 2,000 business, 180 locally elected councillors and 250 FE and HE leaders that is accelerating business-led local growth. They played a key role in supporting business throughout the pandemic, within weeks launching over 100 locally tailored support initiatives to support SMEs, which saw almost 2m businesses turn to their LEPs’ Growth Hubs within the first 6 months of the pandemic, far more than the entire previous year.
LEPs came through the stress test of how to engineer economic pandemic recovery with flying colours, showing their worth with the immediacy and intelligence of their responses in rapidly devising credible local growth strategies that united a diverse set of partners.
“If the aim of the spending review and levelling up agenda is to build back better, and starting from now, Localis views LEPs as an optimal, oven-ready structure for binding our local economic anchors with the local and national engines of state. Truth be told, if they didn’t exist already, senior officials and ministers would be busy inventing them.
The future value of what LEPs bring is clear:
LEPs have invested significantly in innovative skills capital funding projects that are targeted on local need not national formulae, including for example the skills campus in
LEPs will deliver these outcomes through the following evolved roles:
Underlying each of these roles is a focus on skills, ensuring that business plays its part in shaping FE and apprenticeship courses using our Skills Advisory and Digital Skills Panels and continuing our involvement with the Careers and Enterprise Company through our Enterprise Advisor Network.
The current government review of LEPs is examining how future local business organisations can best support the Plan for Growth with a specific focus on the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, boosting international trade, stimulating innovation, and exploiting local strengths and comparative economic advantage. The conclusions will feed into the Levelling-Up White Paper due later this year.
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