Government has confirmed plans to transfer core functions of Local Enterprise Partnerships into Local Authorities.
A letter, sent jointly from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Department for Business and Trade, confirms that central funding for LEPs will cease from April 2024.
It states that core LEP functions – including business representation, strategic economic planning, and the delivery of certain government programmes – will switch to local authorities.
The letter comes after the Chancellor announced during April’s Spring Budget that he was ‘minded’ to withdraw core funding for LEPs.
The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has since been working to preserve its legacy while moving towards the transfer of its functions.
Signed by Minister for Levelling Up, Dehenna Davison, and Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake, today’s letter thanks LEPs and their staff for their hard work in driving local economic growth across England since 2011.
The letter adds:
“From April 2024, the Government’s sponsorship and funding of LEPs will cease.
“The Government will now support local and combined authorities to take on the functions currently delivered by LEPs.”
Earlier this summer, the LLEP Board commenced action to transition its functions and secure its legacy following the Chancellor’s Spring Budget announcement.
Directors outlined in June how work had begun, through a newly-convened Transition Group, on managing the smooth handover of LLEP functions and resources.
LLEP Chief Executive, Phoebe Dawson, is chairing the group and has since been working with key partners on transferring LLEP functions while simultaneously building on gains made by the LLEP.
Plans have already been made to maintain core LLEP functions through to March 2024.
Meanwhile, the LLEP Board has agreed funding for the local Careers Hub through to August 2024 – the end of the next academic year.
Andy Reed OBE, LLEP Co-Chair, said:
“We’ve been expecting the Minister’s letter and are grateful to colleagues in Government for clarifying the future role of local enterprise partnerships.
“Phoebe and the Transition Group are carefully considering the Government’s guidance as the LLEP moves forward on working with partners to negotiate the best deal for Leicestershire’s economy while maintaining its independent business voice.”
Phoebe Dawson, LLEP Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Following the Spring Budget, the LLEP took prompt action in responding to the Government’s indication that funding was to conclude.
“Today’s letter sets out in more detail how Government sees LEP functions integrating into local authorities and we will now be moving this forward through the Transition Group.
“I will also be presenting a Delivery Plan to the LLEP Board at its meeting later this month.
“This will ensure we maintain existing functions through to March 2024, while also remaining alert to other opportunities.”Read the Government letter