The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) will preserve its legacy – and continue to provide services – as work begins on the transition of core functions.
Directors have tasked new Chief Executive, Phoebe Dawson, to collaborate with partners on identifying which LLEP functions will be required in future.
Work will then commence to transition those functions into alternative accountable bodies.
It comes after the Government indicated that central funding for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) nationwide will be withdrawn at the end of March 2024.
The Chancellor described during the Spring Budget his intention for LEP services to be delivered by local government from as early as April 2024.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities subsequently wrote to LEPs to confirm the decision and establish the scope of each LEP’s existing work and relationships.
LLEP Directors met soon after the Chancellor’s announcement to begin forming a plan for meeting the Government’s deadline.
Their outline for working with core stakeholders on the transfer of powers was then ratified at a LLEP Board meeting on 13 June.
The LLEP Board agreed to form a transition group, chaired by Phoebe, to work with key partners on transferring LLEP functions while building on gains made over the years.
Andy Reed OBE, Co-Chair of the LLEP, said: “Phoebe has been a valuable recent addition to the LLEP team and will focus on finding ways to further progress the many good things the LLEP has delivered over the years.
“The announcement during the Spring Budget was not unexpected and we had been talking with stakeholders for more than a year.
“What is important now is that we build on that collaboration with more formal talks to agree our approach ahead of the Government funding deadline in nine months’ time.”
Anil Majithia, Co-Chair of the LLEP, said: “It’s really important that we maintain our service delivery as the cost of doing business continues to challenge so many.
“LLEP officers will ensure smooth transition as our teams continue helping local businesses towards increased productivity, investment-readiness, and growth.”
Phoebe started as Chief Executive in May and has since been meeting staff members, delivery partners, and other stakeholders to discuss the local approach.
She said: “Government has put a timeline in place and therefore transition planning must commence promptly.
“Not only will this preserve our legacy, and provide the best outcomes for all of our stakeholders, it will also give greater clarity to our team members in relation to their own futures.”
Plans are being made to maintain core functions through to March.
Funding has also been agreed to provide Careers Hub support through to August 2024 – the end of the next academic year.
“Team members are naturally concerned about the uncertainty around their own functions,” Phobe added.
“The Board has ratified transition, and we will provide that transition with an updated Delivery Plan setting new objectives for each of the team.
“This will maximise the value of functions within our existing portfolio, while also positioning us to continue seizing upon opportunities as we move towards March 2024.”
The Delivery Plan will be presented to the LLEP Board at its meeting in August.Read the LLEP Growth Strategy