27 Mar

Councillors updated on transition of LLEP functions to city and county authorities


Councillors have been updated on what comes next after funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) ceases at the end of this month.

Cabinet members at Leicestershire County Council were presented with a report during a recent meeting, while Leicester City Council included a document in its planned decisions.

Government announced last year that it would cease funding LEPs nationwide. Current Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) functions will be transferred to the control of Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council from April 1.

Government guidance suggests that a new Business Board be assembled to provide the view of local businesses as part of regional decision-making and to work with local leaders to inform a broad economic strategy for the area.

Board members might include representatives of key business bodies, the local business community, and economic development stakeholders including universities, further education colleges, district councils, and the voluntary and community sectors.

Once recruited, the board will offer advice to the Leicester City Mayor and the Leader of the County Council. The city mayor and county leader will also meet with the Board’s chair.

Current LLEP functions, such as the Careers Hub, Business Gateway Growth Hub, and Innovative Leicestershire, will be transitioned to the control of the city and county councils, and reviewed by the Business Board.

Existing LLEP reserves of £2.8m will be used to fund the new set-up until 2026. Activity beyond 2026 will be reviewed depending on the financial position at that time.

Some £10m, accrued by the LLEP from repayments of loans, will be used to support economic development and prosperity across the city and county, informed by the planned engagement with the new board.

Existing LLEP directors have offered their resignations and will formally step down on March 31. They have been working with partners over several months to ensure the smooth transition of LLEP functions to the upper tier local authorities.

Leicestershire County Council’s report was approved by cabinet on Tuesday. 

LLEP director and county councillor, Councillor Peter Bedford, said:

I would like to put on record my thanks to all of the colleagues that I have worked with as a director on behalf of the local authority and I know that the organisation in its new form will go from strength to strength continuing to help economic development across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Over the last 13 years, the LLEP helped to bring almost £860 million of investment into Leicester and Leicestershire. It has created economic prosperity through measures including the introduction of Enterprise Zones, creating and safeguarding more than 7,400 jobs, supporting thousands of new homes, and helping to construct more than 260,000 square metres of commercial floorspace.