What is a Local Enterprise Partnership?
Local Enterprise Partnerships are led by businesses and local authorities across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership required to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their areas.
As part of the June 2010 Budget, the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
On June 29 2010 a letter sent from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to local authority and business leaders, inviting proposals to form LEPs in their areas by September 6 2010.
On September 7 2010, details were published of 56 proposals for LEPs that had been received by Government.
It was revealed on October 6 2010, during the Conservative Party Conference that 22 had been given the provisional ‘green light’ to proceed and, on October 28 2010, 24 bids were announced as successful.
There are currently 39 recognised LEPs across England.
The formation of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership
In June 2010, Government called on business leaders and local authorities to set out plans for developing Local Enterprise Partnerships which would take on the duty of leading economic development in ‘functional economic areas’.
In Birmingham, following wide consultation with the business community and other stakeholders, a submission was made to Government on September 6 2010.
This submission proposed a partnership including the local authorities of Birmingham City Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Cannock Chase District Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, Lichfield District Council, Redditch Borough Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Tamworth Borough Council, Wyre Forest District Council.
After being approved by Government, a Development Board was established to oversee establishment of the LEP including governance arrangements, the recruitment of a representative Board, development of an Interim Economic Strategy and to lead on Regional Growth Fund bids and Enterprise Zone proposals.
A rigorous recruitment process for a strong and representative Board was launched at the beginning of 2011. Over 80 applications were received for nine private sector positions and in April 2011, Andy Street was announced as the Chair of the new organisation and the full Board commenced its work at its first meeting on June 8 2011.
Governance and structure
The GBSLEP Board is comprised from the private sector, local authorities and universities and colleges. There are a total of 18 Directors, ten from the business community, seven from local authorities and one representing higher/further education.
The GBSLEP is business-led and business community representatives have been recruited with the aim of reflecting the geography of the area as well as different sizes and sectors of commerce and industry.
The GBSLEP has been established as a Company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.