Enterprise M3 - North Hampshire and M3 Corridor’s bid for a Local Enterprise Partnership will work to strengthen its position and join forces with another LEP bid following yesterday's (Thursday) announcement from the Government.
Covering parts of Hampshire and Surrey including Andover, Basingstoke, Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet, Hook and Camberley, Enterprise M3’s bid was acknowledged as a strong contender and was one of 10 requested to send a representative to the Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) committee inquiry into LEPs earlier in the month. But when determining the first round of successful LEPs, the Government suggested Enterprise M3 strengthen its bid through a collaboration with a neighbouring bid.
Already work has taken place behind the scenes to consider this option and it is hoped to investigate the opportunity to linking with one of the 24 successful bids, to complement the functional economic area.
LEPs are expected to replace regional development agencies, such as the South East England Development Agency.
Speaking on behalf of the Enterprise M3 bid, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Leader Cllr Andrew Finney said: “We are very pleased that the feedback from the Government on the bid was so positive, in particular praising the tremendous backing we received from local businesses, in just submitting the bid we have raised the profile of the area on a national stage and shown our determination to be a driving force behind the economic growth of the area.
“We take on board the Government’s feedback to look again at the geographical area covered in the Enterprise M3 bid and to work with other bids which complement our economic aims and objectives.”
Cllr Finney added: "While the standalone Enterprise M3 LEP bid has not been successful, we are excited about the prospect of working with neighbouring bids to form a strong LEP that will support and grow the local economy to meet the needs of businesses from large multi-national companies to sole traders and start-ups in an environmentally sustainable way, tackling issues such as transport, skills, broadband and investment.”