28 October 2010

Local councils and local business will take charge of the local economy as the first 24 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) have been given the go-ahead, by Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles and Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to drive growth and create jobs.

The Government wants to rebalance the economy and promote sustainable economic growth across the country, and away from the regional boundaries that were used previously. New proposals were also unveiled for councils to keep the business rates they collect locally, giving councils a renewed incentive to grow their economy and attract business to the area.

In a third measure, Ministers declared the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund is now available for use. The fund will particularly support communities currently dependent on the public sector, helping them make the transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity.

These announcements were included in the White Paper on Local Growth published on 28 October 2010, which sets out the Government’s new approach to rebalance the economy and drive sustainable growth by focusing on three key themes:

  • shifting power to local communities and businesses – by establishing dynamic Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) of local business and civic leaders, operating within an area that makes economic sense, which can provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership to set local priorities and empower communities to fulfil their potential;
  • increasing confidence to invest – by creating the right conditions for growth through a consistent and efficient framework for investment, an effective planning framework and new incentives to make sure local communities benefit from development; and
  • focused investment – by tackling barriers to growth that the market will not address itself and supporting investment that will have a long term impact on growth

The first 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are:

  • Birmingham and Solihull with East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth;
  • Cheshire and Warrington;
  • Coast to Capital;
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly;
  • Coventry and Warwickshire;
  • Cumbria;
  • Great Cambridge and Great Peterborough;
  • Greater Manchester;
  • Hertfordshire;
  • Kent, Greater Essex and East Sussex;
  • Leeds City Region;
  • Leicester and Leicestershire;
  • Lincolnshire;
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire;
  • Oxfordshire City Region;
  • Sheffield City Region;
  • Solent;
  • South East Midlands;
  • Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire;
  • Tees Valley;
  • Thames Valley Berkshire;
  • The Marches; and
  • West of England.


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