Photo: Mandy Thorn
The chair of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has hailed the work of the groups across the region as new figures show the huge impact they have made in the ten years since they were formed.
Leaders of the Midlands’ local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) say they should be central to the delivery of the economic recovery and levelling up.
For ten years LEPs have been driving forward inclusive economic growth across the country. They have harnessed the energy and expertise of leaders from 2,000 businesses, 180 local authorities and 250 Higher/Further Education organisations.
The new figures show that in the Midlands, LEPs have delivered £4.1 billion of Government investment into the area, unlocking a further £11.1 billion of match funding from private, public and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VSCE) partners.
Mandy Thorn MBE, Marches LEP chair, said: “From City Deals to Local Growth Deals, trade and investment to skills training and business support we have put local people and local places at the heart of our work.
“Our flexible and agile response to Covid-19, the EU Exit and future skills challenges has been made possible thanks to the unique way we bring public, private, and academic sectors together to create joined-up solutions.
“Together the Midlands LEPs have driven forwards locally informed and sustainable investments creating over 75,000 jobs so far and we are on target to create over 200,000, as we collectively support the Covid-19 recovery and develop opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and has a £238 billon economy, generating over 12% of the UK’s Gross Value Added. Building on the strengths of our partnerships and our Growth Hubs, Midlands LEPs have supported over 135,000 businesses to enable them to grow and prosper
“Through our locally-driven insight and collaborative approach with schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, and career professionals, we have supported over 40,000 learners to ensure the regions can respond to the future skills needs and that everyone has access to opportunities, no matter what their background.
“As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, innovation is a defining characteristic of the Midlands economy, and collectively we have invested over £100 million in research and development. We have worked with universities and businesses to develop innovative products and services to drive international trade, growth and productivity.
“With the government’s ambition to evolve the way it supports local growth and levelling up for the long term, LEPs have a critical role to play by building on their legacy to ensure we collectively maintain our focus on the region’s prosperity and drive forwards the government’s ambitions of a green recovery through improved productivity, skills development and business support for everyone.”