The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a creative collaboration of leaders from business, universities and local councils, who direct economic growth and drive job creation. Since its inception, the LEP has been established as a company limited by guarantee and wholly-owned by LCC but with a clear majority of private sector Directors.
The region’s business base is broad and buoyant, with thriving towns and cities as well as excellent schools, colleges and universities.
We have an incredibly diverse economy linked globally and locally, with the UK’s aerospace hub; aerospace, defence and nuclear industries, agri-food businesses, vibrant rural and visitor economies, 52,000 businesses (circa 99% SMEs) and a local supply chain that’s built on our historic manufacturing strengths.
Surrounding us we have the city regions of Liverpool, Leeds and Greater Manchester supported by their Combined Authorities – together we form part of the Northern Powerhouse. Our public sector stakeholders include 12 District and 2 Unitary Councils plus the County Council and we also have 16 MPs.
In July 2018 the Government completed a national review of Local Enterprise Partnerships and outlined a clear focus on four activities to support the development and delivery of their Local Industrial Strategies at this time of challenging and exciting change:
• Strategy: Developing an evidence-based Local Industrial Strategy that identifies local strengths and challenges, future opportunities and the action needed to boost productivity, earning power and competitiveness across their area.
• Allocation of funds: Identifying and developing investment opportunities; prioritising the award of local growth funding; and monitoring and evaluating the impacts of its activities to improve productivity across the whole economy.
• Co-ordination: Using their convening power, for example to co-ordinate responses to economic shocks; and bring together partners from private, public and third sectors.
• Advocacy: Collaborating with a wide range of local partners to act as an informed and independent voice for their area.
We are well on the way to making the necessary changes, including Board representation and membership, impact and performance reporting. The LEP incorporates a small, yet growing, effective senior executive team currently based at Lancashire County Council which supports the Chair in their role. Achievements can be found below.
The LEP was formed in 2011 to make Lancashire the location for business growth and inward investment. We aim to do this by ensuring all our companies have easy access to high-grade support services that promote sustainable expansion. The LEP’s model has already demonstrated an ability to make key decisions which have tested the resilience of its governance structures and the maturity of local partners. The requirements of the government’s LEP Review provide an opportunity for the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to become fully independent and free from any perceived influence by key stakeholders.
Since the LEP’s inception in 2011, we have established and maintained a strong strategic focus. This has enabled us to secure a £1bn growth plan supporting 50 major growth initiatives. Whilst all parts of Lancashire have benefited from these ambitious growth programmes and investment plans, half of these initiatives are within our five most deprived areas reflecting the LEP’s ambition to drive inclusive economic growth.
We have also established a strong reputation and track record of delivery, which is recognised by government, our public and private sector partners. We have achieved this through the delivery of innovative initiatives including;
- The £450m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal which is recognised as one of the country’s leading City Deals and which is on its way to creating 20,000 new jobs and nearly 20,000 new homes;
- Our £320m Growth Deal, the largest secured outside the core city regions, and which is on track to deliver up to 11,000 new jobs, 3,900 new homes, and £1.2bn in new private sector investment by 2021;
- Our Lancashire Enterprise Zone cluster programme, based on three Zones (across four sites), is creating an investor offer of Northern Powerhouse significance capable of supporting 10,000 new jobs in the advanced engineering and manufacturing, energy and chemical sectors;
- Our Employment and Skills Board is one of only a few to have almost fully invested the LEP’s £30m Growth Deal Skills Capital Fund;
- We have fully recycled our £20m Growing Places Investment Fund in 8 commercial investments across Lancashire, including in some of our most deprived areas;
- The establishment of Transport for Lancashire has been fundamental to the development of a strategic transport programme to address major infrastructure constraints limiting economic and housing growth and also in supporting the strategic economic ambitions of Transport for the North.
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