16 Mar

LLEP responds to Government decision to transfer functions to local authorities

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The LLEP will continue to work closely with partners as it awaits Government guidance as to how its functions should be transferred to local authorities by April 2024.

The Treasury’s Spring Budget described on Wednesday the intention for functions of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to be delivered by local government.

The Chancellor stated that the Government is minded to withdraw central support for LEPs from April 2024.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Department for Business and Trade will now consult on the proposals before confirming a decision.

Government plans to publish by the summer an updated policy position confirming next steps.

Andy Reed OBE and Anil Majithia are the Co-Chairs of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Mr Reed said: “For more than a year now, the LLEP has been working with local partners on the proposed devolution of funding and powers.

“For that reason, Wednesday’s Budget announcement – that the Government intends to transfer responsibility for local economic development to local authorities by April 2024 – was not unexpected.

“We anticipate that far more details and a consultation process will emerge as we head through to the summer.

“I have always felt we could work collaboratively across our city and county to create a vibrant partnership of councils, educators, business leaders, and the voluntary sector.

“It’s now even more important that we work together to improve our local economic prospects.

“The LLEP will continue to support local authorities, businesses, educators, and other stakeholders in seeking to fund infrastructure and other projects which will grow our area’s skills, innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity.

“LEPs recently received their funding settlement for 2023/24 and we continue with projects which will help local businesses move further towards increased productivity, investment-readiness, and growth.

“In addition, we remain focussed on supporting local businesses through the current cost-of-doing-business challenge – for example, through our Growth Hub, which will next month stage a day-long expo providing free practical support to 200 local firms.

“Finally, Anil and I would also like to thank LLEP officers, who continue to work with commitment and focus in supporting local enterprise, skills, and growth during the uncertainty faced by LEPs nationwide.”