This week SEMLEP publishes its Annual Delivery Plan for 2022/23. It coincides with a nation-wide Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – central government conference that has reaffirmed the role of LEPs and priorities for the future.
SEMLEP is funded by central and local government to deliver national programmes, tailored locally on behalf of several government departments, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Education and the Department for International Trade.
During this week’s conference, Tech Minister Chris Philp MP, who recently published the government’s UK Digital Strategy, said, “everyone should be able to get the skills needed to seize the benefits of new technology and forge a career in the UK’s booming digital industries.
“This is at the heart of the Digital Strategy and Local Enterprise Partnerships will play a vital role in delivering it by helping to boost growth, jobs and opportunities in tech across the country.
“LEPs are also putting their weight behind international trade opportunities and exploiting local economic strengths that boost innovation, where they have a strong card to play.”
Following a government-led review of LEPs and the publication of the Levelling up White Paper earlier in the year, the Government confirms that they want to ensure that businesses are able to access the support, insights and representation that the Local Enterprise Partnership provides, and to ensure that an independent business and stakeholder voice continues to play its vital role in supporting growth.
SEMLEP Chief Executive, Hilary Chipping “The LEP as a public private partnership bringing together businesses, local authority leaders, Universities and the voluntary sector is needed more than ever now to support local businesses and local communities in these economically challenging times.
“SEMLEP’s commitment to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth is set out clearly in the Delivery Plan for this year. We will continue to deliver an employer led Skills Strategy, support high growth, scale up and pre-scale-up businesses through our Growth Hub and deliver much needed Green Recovery and Innovation support to businesses in our area.”
SEMLEP’s Annual Delivery Plan sets out core activities, performance indicators and timeframes for the partnership to deliver:
- economic and skills intelligence and analysis to support data-led and evidence-based decisions on development across the South East Midlands.
- multiple programmes to support local businesses to manage change, enhance export opportunities, recruit and retain talent, and transition to a zero-carbon future.
- support for employer-led skills development, connecting pathways into current and future occupations and enhanced careers-related information and experiences for young people.
- added value from the 60 projects supported through the major capital investment funds managed by the LEP.
The conference was attended by the Prime Minister’s Chief Business Advisor, Alex Hickman, and government ministers, including the Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Chris Philp MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman MP, Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, and Levelling Up minister Neil O’Brien MP.
The government’s LEP Review concluded in March 2022 with the publication of Guidance on integrating Local Enterprise Partnerships into local democratic institutions which anticipated that “LEPs will eventually fully integrate into local democratic institutions in line with our Government’s mission to offer a devolution deal to everywhere that wants one by 2030”.