These are the strategic priorities which provide the guiding principles of the LEP work programme, including projects and programmes to be delivered via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Strategy and the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.

They are:

Supporting Business

We will create an exceptional business support environment for aspiring growth businesses through access to finance and incentives to innovate. We will promote the Marches as a business investment location and support our new and established businesses through The Marches Growth Hub.

Physical Infrastructure


We will provide a compelling business investment offer with a progressive planning framework and infrastructure fit for tomorrow’s business needs. Find out more here.


The LEP and its three partner councils (Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin) have developed an Energy Strategy for the Marches area, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Strategy reviewed current policies, energy supply for current and future demand given the LEP’s plan to deliver 40,000 new jobs and 70,000 new homes by 2031; it also considered the possibilities and funding available for the transition to a low carbon economy.

Find out more about the Marches Energy Strategy here

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community. Communities with an energy related project idea are encouraged to apply to receive part of the national fund.

The RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. Nottingham City Council is administering the fund for the Marches LEP area through the Midlands Energy Hub.

RCEF Funding is available in 2 stages:

•stage 1: grants of up to £40,000 for a feasibility study for a renewable energy project

•stage 2: grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes

To register your interest for the scheme, or for further information, contact the Marches Regional Senior Energy Project Officer, by email at


More than 215,000 businesses can now access high speed broadband – but many businesses are still struggling to access the fibre network. Find out more about how the LEP is supporting the roll-out of the super fast service to more households and businesses.

Find out more about broadband in the Marches by viewing the July 2018 briefing to the LEP here.

Skills Investment

We will support employers to develop themselves and their workforce and to provide employment opportunities for young people. Read more about our investment in skills here.

Our Marches Work and Training Tool helps find job opportunities, training or development opportunities for both employees and businesses.


We will drive the transition to a high value, low carbon economy, maximising the opportunity in new technologies, reducing environmental costs to business and recognising our environment as an economic asset.

Find out more here: Environment

Inclusive Growth

Our vision for the Marches is that we are an inclusive place that enables residents from all of our communities to thrive and develop with quality jobs offering good wages, training and progression.  People here collaborate and help each other to succeed.  Businesses, local authorities, education and third sector organisations are committed to working together to invest in the prosperity of our businesses and residents.

Wherever possible, we will work with partners to maximise opportunities for our communities which drive their personal and professional development and economic wellbeing.

Find out more about The Marches Construction Ready Partnership

Find out more about Building Better Opportunities in the Marches. 

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