As a result of the Government’s recent national review into local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), all LEPs have been asked to consider their geographical boundaries and governance structures with the aim of creating the best model to play an increased role in delivering on the new UK Industrial Strategy.
The most significant change to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership will be to our geography to remove overlaps with other LEPs (our current model means we have overlapping areas covering the districts of Barnsley, Craven, Harrogate, Selby and York).
Our Board members are currently investigating the benefits and implications changes to our geography could present and would like to take account of the views of businesses, business representative organizations, community groups and residents.
The likely changes to our geography presents two emerging options:
- The option to reduce our geography and therefore our size, for example perhaps focusing on just West Yorkshire while continuing to work closely with neighbouring LEPs on economic and social issues.
- The option to increase our geography and size, where we may look to join with neighbouring LEPs that cover the entire City Region and potentially more.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said:
“As a LEP we have achieved a huge amount over the past seven years – not least securing the largest Growth Deal of any LEP in the country, which is now making a real difference to local communities, and elevating the region into the top five locations in the country for foreign direct investment.
“With the UK facing fresh challenges and opportunities as we look beyond Brexit, now is the right time to ensure that our LEP – as a body that brings together the public and private sectors in genuine partnership – is in the best possible place to drive the economic opportunities that people in our region need and deserve. Having recently made our own improvements to governance and transparency with the aim of being the most transparent and accountable local enterprise partnership in the country, we are in a strong position to respond positively to this opportunity from Government, working closely with our fellow Yorkshire and Humber local enterprise partnerships to achieve the best outcomes for the region.
“We are seeking to achieve the widest possible consensus among businesses and partners in the region for whatever proposals we ultimately put forward to Government, so I would encourage all interested parties to get involved and have their say.”