Since the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) were scrapped in 2010 it has been the LEPs that have taken up the role of providing economic support to areas through additional skills support; advice and loans for business growth through Growth Hubs; and infrastructure investment. The role of LEPs has grown in importance since they were given responsibility to develop a local industrial strategies to support the UK Industrial Strategy.
Though the government’s review of LEPs, that recognised this additional responsibility, has like many other areas been delayed. Nevertheless, the work LEPs undertake continues and CBI is at the heart of shaping it.
Engagement with LEPs has put us in a strong place for communicating member priorities in the regions. Rick Blackmore, CBI Director for East Midlands was recently appointed to the Greater Lincolnshire LEP Competitiveness Board and I am now a standing member of the Leicester and Leicestershire Business Board.
We have established a member-