Business views sought on economic plan

February 18, 2016

Employers in the Marches are being invited to give their views on the barriers to, and opportunities for, business growth in the region.
The Marches LEP is updating its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which was originally published in 2013 and formed the basis of its £83m Growth Deal settlement with Government in the following year.

Gill Hamer
Gill Hamer

The business-led LEP is now asking companies in the area to complete a short survey which aims to reveal whether the same barriers and opportunities identified three years ago remain, and to what extent.
Director of the Marches LEP, Gill Hamer, said the survey would also feed into work currently being carried out with the business boards in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, as well as the three local authorities, to assess the current economic activity in the region.
Miss Hamer said: “The views of our businesses are important to us and will help us identify our strategic priorities for the Marches economy as we continue with our programme of work.
“Three years ago, working with businesses, we identified a key barrier to growth as being infrastructure, both in terms of roads and rail and broadband and mobile connectivity. Skills and workforce development was another issue highlighted by our businesses and both of these helped us formulate our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
“More than £77m of the resulting Growth Deal we negotiated with Government based on our economic plan is being invested into key road schemes to open up routes and land for homes, development and job creation. We are also investing more than £8m in the faster rollout of high-speed broadband and there was also around £3m for skills projects.
“But it is important that we now look to refresh Strategic Economic Plan. We are again engaging with the business community, making sure their views are being heard and we can use their feedback to help identify where future investment should be made. That way, we can help break down the barriers to growth and develop the economic conditions for our thriving and dynamic business base to flourish.”
Businesses can take part in the survey by visiting, the closing date is noon on February 24.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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