GBSLEP Blog – December 2012

Posted by lepadmin - December 18, 2012 - Blog - No Comments

Andy Street – Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

By any standards, the first full year for the GBSLEP Board has been a packed one.

Most notably, we have seen the first phase of the City Deal signed off by Government, rewarding hard work and detailed negotiation which has yielded the first steps towards greater control over our own economic futures.

The constructive work with Government has, I firmly believe, placed us in a strong position following the publication of the Heseltine Review, which is encouraging further devolution and powers.

We have launched the Strategy for Growth White Paper, consulting with stakeholders and businesses across the LEP area on the strategy for our work to 2020.

I am delighted to say stakeholders and businesses in the LEP have responded to our call for their views, with more than 450 submissions.

Elsewhere, the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone has begun in earnest with the launch of the £125 million investment plan which, looking forward, will show tangible results over the next 12 months as progress on sites across the city continues.

And we have launched the £20 million Growing Places and £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative programmes. The first cash has been distributed to successful bidding companies across the region.

Clearly, there has been significant progress in delivering these milestones, but perhaps the most important progress has been in the continued strengthening of the relationships between everybody involved in the partnership.

We have effectively begun to build a “city region”, the confidence in which has been reflected in our selection to be in the vanguard of delivering the recommendations of the Heseltine Review.

We have, rightly, won praise from Government for the way we have set about presenting our case for greater powers and financial control.

This has only happened because of the determination of local authorities, businesses and stakeholders to work together, and to speak with one voice on the issues that affect us.

The way Greater Birmingham is seen nationally is improving and this is a trend we need to continue in 2013.

Recent economic data is confirming that trend with increases in employment and strong creation of private sector jobs, but we still need to press ahead.

Next year will see even more opportunities to demonstrate that Greater Birmingham is THE place to do business and THE place for Government to look for the leadership to drive economic growth.

It is only with the continued support and hard work of everybody involved in the Local Enterprise Partnership that we can continue moving in that direction.

So finally, I would like to thank everybody – from the Board to all supporters – who are collaborating effectively for the region’s good.

Everyone’s efforts this year are appreciated and I look forward to building on this next year.

Happy Christmas