GBSLEP Blog – Steve Hollis (Jan 2013)
Steve Hollis – Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Deputy Chair
Back in the autumn, when we launched the Strategy for Growth White Paper for consultation, we took what we confidently believed was a document that went a long way towards addressing the key economic challenges we face here in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP.
Over the course of the six week consultation period, through a series of ‘Town Hall’ events, more than 400 stakeholders made representations on the White Paper.
These comments, many of them in depth, have been tremendously constructive and have served to do two things.
First it assured us that, broadly, we are on the right track as far as the approach goes.
Secondly, comments made us aware that we needed to refine the presentation of the strategy, more clearly articulate our targets and timescales and be much more specific to this area, focusing on the strengths and opportunities inherent to this LEP.
Since we launched the White Paper, many of you will be aware of the launch of the Greater Birmingham Project where our LEP is working with Lord Heseltine and his team.
Clearly, the work that Lord Heseltine is doing in parallel with the Strategy for Growth is hugely significant and impacts on our thinking and approach.
But this does not mean we are suspending the Strategy for Growth, rather we are forging ahead, ensuring the plan is integrated and drawing on fresh insights while supporting devolution.
Implementation will be key as we go forward. The work being done to develop the Strategic Spatial Framework Plan needs to sit alongside the Strategy for Growth, presenting a clear picture of the direction we are travelling in.
In terms of next steps, the Strategy for Growth will now be refined, with a view to presenting a pre-publication strategy to the LEP Board in March.
We then intend to launch the Strategy in April, closely followed by the publication of the Delivery Plan.
We will be sure to keep you updated on our progress as we go along and would like to thank you, once again, for your interest and input into the plan.