The Prime Minister met with the leaders of England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to celebrate their achievements to date and to map out key areas for cooperation under the UK’s Modern Industrial Strategy.
Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn was among the 38 LEP chairs to attend the meeting at 10 Downing Street.
The event was the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s Council of LEP Chairs and talks focused on where LEPs carry maximum impact: delivering the objectives of the Modern Industrial Strategy in local areas, and investing in the skills people and businesses need.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships play a vital role in supporting businesses and innovation across England. From the New Anglia aviation academy – the first of its kind in the UK – to Enterprise M3’s 5G innovation centre, LEPs are developing skills, delivering infrastructure, and securing investment.
“That’s why our Modern Industrial Strategy is clear that they must continue to play a crucial role in our plans to deliver further growth in local economies.
“Today’s first meeting of the council marks a milestone in this partnership. By working even more closely together, we will continue to maximise our efforts in creating jobs, growth and investment right across the country, delivering long-term, meaningful results for local communities.”
Graham Wynn said the event had been highly successful and helped identify some of the key areas for work over the coming months.
He said the LEPs had reinforced their commitment to help deliver a national Industrial Strategy, using their strengths and expertise to lead local strategies for economic growth and partner more effectively with local government.
Co-chair of the meeting and LEP chair for Greater Manchester, Mike Blackburn OBE, said: “Today was a golden opportunity for business leaders to sit down with the Prime Minister and identify the key action areas LEPs can help government with, and highlight current achievements.
“This is part of an ongoing dialogue between LEPs and government as we help build an ambitious programme for long-term economic growth. Our strong partnerships of private and public sector leaders and track record of delivery, mean we have an exciting opportunity to help the government build an economy that works for everyone, no matter where they live.”
The Council of Local Enterprise Partnership Chairs was announced in the 2017 Industrial Strategy White Paper as a new forum for LEP business leaders to help shape national policy decisions and ensure closer cooperation with the Government on Industrial Strategy objectives.