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Government reaffirms commitment to LEPs in Industrial Strategy White Paper

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) welcomes the Industrial Strategy White Paper, which reaffirms Government’s commitment to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).

The White Paper also confirms funding for Growth Hubs to continue connecting businesses to the best support available from the private and public sectors, and helping high potential businesses to scale up.

As part of the many initiatives to strengthen the role of LEPs, the Prime Minister will meet with the Council of LEP Chairs twice yearly from 2018. This will provide more opportunities for LEPs to highlight local business needs and contribute to national policy decisions.  

Dr Mike Short CBE, Chairman of Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “We are delighted by Government’s continued recognition and support for LEPs as reflected in the Industrial Strategy White Paper. Enterprise M3 is has a strong history of delivery and we are already working with our local authorities, other partners and business to take forward the key foundations of the Industrial Strategy.”

Enterprise M3 is currently consulting on their local industrial strategy which ends on 11th December.

Mike Short stressed “We want all our partners to respond to our recent consultation. A clear focus by us on our priorities and actions will put us in an excellent position to develop a powerful deal for our local economy drawing on the array of place based funds announced in the Industrial Strategy.“

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The Industrial Strategy is based on the following five foundations of productivity:

1.    Ideas – aim to create the world's most innovative economy by:

·         Raising R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027

·         Increasing the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%

·         Investing £725 million in Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to capture the value of innovation.

2.    People – aim to achieve good jobs and greater earning power for all by:

·         Establishing a world class technical education system

·         Investing £406 million in maths, digital and technical education to address shortage of STEM skills

·         Creating a National Retraining scheme investing £64 million in digital and construction skills

3.    Infrastructure – aim to deliver a major upgrade to the UK's infrastructure by:

·         Increasing the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31 billion for investment in transport, housing and digital infrastructure

·         Supporting electrical vehicles through £400 million investment in charging infrastructure and an extra £100 million to extend the plug in car grant

·         Boosting digital infrastructure with £1 billion of investment including 176 million for 5G and 200 million for local areas to roll out of full fibre networks

4.    Business Environment – aim to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business by:

·         Launching and rolling out sector deals (Life Sciences; Construction; Artificial Intelligence and Automotive)

·         driving over £20bn of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including Stablishing £2.5 billion investment fund incubated in the British Business Bank

·         Launching a review into how to improve the productivity and growth of SMEs 

5.    Places – aim to create prosperous communities across the UK by:

·         Agreeing Local Industrial Strategies that build on local strengths and deliver on opportunities;

·         Creating a £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund for intra-city transport – driving productivity by improving connections within city regions;

·         Providing £42 million Teacher Development Fund to pilot professional development for teachers in areas that have fallen behind.