Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn outlines the partnership’s priorities for 2019

January 22, 2019

In an uncertain world there is one thing of which we can be absolutely sure.

Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn

Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn

The next 12 months will bring new challenges, new opportunities and a faster pace of change in the county’s workplaces than ever before.

The digital revolution sweeping across the economy makes that inevitable. With faster communication, increased connectivity and the adoption of ever-new technologies, our factories, offices and workplaces are changing like never before.

That is why the need to innovate is so vital to the success of our region’s economy.

At the Marches LEP – the business-led organisation charged with driving forward the region’s economic growth – we have placed supporting innovation firmly at the top of our agenda. Our latest growth deal will see £21.9m invested in projects to nurture it and boost the region’s skills to sustain it.

You can see the fruits of some of this work starting to take shape at schemes such as the Flaxmill regeneration in Shrewsbury and the Newport Innovation and Enterprise Park.

We have invested £2.5m under our Investing in our Future Workforce project in colleges across the county to ensure we are equipped with the cutting-edge skills needed in the modern economy.

Our involvement with the Marches Construction Ready Partnership will see the development of a training hub for the construction industry in Telford – as well as two mobile units – to help train around 400 skilled construction workers to meet our housing and employment needs.

And we have been working to ensure the county’s infrastructure is future-proofed and meets the needs of modern business.

More than 215,000 businesses can now access high speed broadband and work is continuing across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to roll out this essential modern utility to still more companies.

Our work to refresh our Strategic Economic Plan has involved a huge conversation with our business community to ensure our priorities are aligned with their needs. Later this year we will deepen that commitment when we develop our Local Industrial Strategy to help cement the growth and prosperity the county has enjoyed.

But we are conscious that we cannot work alone. We have strengthened our wider relationships with key partners across the Midlands and into Mid Wales to ensure our work aligns with regional and national demands and helps sell the huge benefits of doing business in this wonderful county.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all businesses in the Marches the very best for 2019!

*This article from Graham featured in the Shropshire Star Business Supplement in January 2019. You can view the full supplement here.

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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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