July 2016 Board update
Brexit and changes in Government – The Board considered the implications of the EU Referendum result on the local economy, specific sectors and partners. It agreed various actions in response. It also discussed how best to engage with the new Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Strategy for Growth KPI Dashboard – The Board considered some analysis which looked at the potential for further reductions in unemployment locally, and in comparison with other LEP core cities, and the extent of long term unemployment in the area. The findings will be used to help inform delivery plans for the Strategic Economic Plan refresh.
Enterprise Zone – The Board received a positive six month update report on delivery against the £275m Enterprise Zone (EZ) Investment Plan. Since the previous progress report in October 2015, the EZ has seen 512 new jobs created and 7,765 sq.m commercial floorspace delivered and good progress across a number of development sites and supporting infrastructure projects.
Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) refresh – The Board agreed the draft SEP for consultation. Consultation on the draft SEP will run from 29 July to 9 September 2016. Feedback from the consultation will be used to inform the final SEP which is expected to be presented at the September Board meeting.
Local Growth Fund Bid – The Local Growth Fund Bid was signed off by the Board. Feedback from the Challenge Session with the Department for Communities and Local Government will be incorporated before the final bid is submitted to Government on 28 July 2016. Allocations made from this national capital pot to each LEP are expected to be announced in the Autumn Statement.
Employment and Skills – The Board agreed the future focus of its work on employment and skills and the shape and role of the Employment & Skills Board to enable it to drive this critical agenda.
Innovation Business Plan – The Board agreed a plan to promote greater levels of innovation. A Challenge Forum comprised of potential innovation buyers (eg NHS, local authorities, corporates, SMEs) and academic experts will be formed to bring a stronger ‘market voice’ to stimulate and prioritise demand-led innovation initiatives.