Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today submits its response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper after more than 10 weeks of consultation to gather feedback from our partners and stakeholders. The Green Paper sets out the government’s proposals for an Industrial Strategy, which seeks ‘to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country’.
Based on feedback from consultations with stakeholders, our key asks to the government include:
- We ask that Government works with us, other LEPs with strengths in the area, and relevant sector partners such as ADS and the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium to develop a sector deal for aerospace and defence.
- We suggest that a sector deal should consist of:
- Funding for defence and aerospace apprenticeships and skills training.
- Supporting and growing the NATEP programme.
- Government support to enable the Aerospace & Automotive Academy at Farnborough College of Technology to become a regional Institute of Technology.
- Given the importance of the digital economy in our area and the wider South East, and the contribution this sector makes to the national economy, we want the Industrial Strategy to prioritise transformative digital sectors within the Industrial Strategy.
- We ask that Government gives us greater flexibility through Growing Places Fund and Local Growth Fund funding to pool funding for loan and equity finance.
- We ask that the Government commit to an extension of our multi-site Enterprise Zone for the Enterprise M3 area.
- We ask that Government supportw the work through sector deals with the Digital and Aerospace & Defence sectors.
- We support the simplification of qualifications, but ask that Government work with us and local digital skills providers to ensure that digital skills are treated appropriately and meet the needs of our growth sectors.
- We ask that Institute of Technology bids that have been put forward by local partners, for both digital technologies and the Aerospace & Defence sectors, are supported by Government.
- We ask that the Government enable LEPs to use LGF to finance a stronger CIAG offer in our local area in order to support our skills investment and broader economic growth objectives.
- We have identified a number of strategic infrastructure asks that are beyond the scope of local funding and in many cases our local area, but are essential to support growth. These include:
- Guildford A3 Strategic Corridor
- M3 Junction 9
- Western and Southern Rail Access to Heathrow
- Electrification of North Downs Railway Line
- Woking Junction Rail Flyover
- South West Main Line Capacity Improvements (inc. Crossrail 2)
- We are asking Government to make a firm commitment to deliver the above pieces of infrastructure that are essential for the economic prosperity of the area.
- We call on the Government to commit to Transport for the South East.
- We call on the Government to commit to a comprehensive programme to roll out superfast broadband across the country (including rural areas) which builds on the UK’s strengths in 5G research including the work of the 5G Innovation Centre in Guildford.
- We ask that Government work with us to identify mechanisms that will best enable a long term vision for infrastructure and housing across our area.
More broadly, we ask that government continues to recognise the value that LEPs can bring and we welcome the proposal to recognise and build on best practice to ensure that LEPs continue to be at the forefront of collaborative local growth.
Our full response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper can be found here