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Cumbria LEP chair speaks at ministerial event

The chair of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the county’s strategic economic body, has delivered a welcome speech at a ministerial gathering in London to discuss skills, employment, economic development activity and future funding opportunities.

As part of a national LEP network meeting, Cumbria LEP chair George Beveridge addressed an audience which included small business Minister, Margot James MP, and Local Growth and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP, Employment Minister Damian Hinds MP, and Health and Work Minister Penny Mordaunt MP were also in attendance.

The LEP network workshop and ministerial meeting was an opportunity for LEP chairs, chief executives and directors to meet with key government officials and map out the future role of LEPs on key economic issues that will shape future local growth.

The focus was firmly on local industrial strategies, skills and jobs, and the shape of future funding from 2020 onwards, as well as how the LEPs can contribute to economic productivity in their respective areas.

“This was another significant opportunity to present Cumbria’s economic strengths and potential to leading economic development figures in central government,” explains Mr Beveridge.

“It gave us a chance to put the value of our work, and the impact of our investments to date, firmly into focus. Cumbria LEP is currently investing over £60m in a range of projects designed to accelerate economic growth across the county.

“We are pressing for additional investment with evidence based businesses cases, as well as looking to government to make appropriate alternative provision for skills and business support in the coming years.

“All of this work involves effective engagement and discussion with key government departments and figures. Our aim is to ensure we are well placed to press Cumbria’s case so we can tap into new funding streams as and when they become available.”

The event was supported by Prospects, which is working in partnership with 18 LEPs across the country, and by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme.

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