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LEP chairs meet with PM

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has met with business leaders from England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to focus on Local Industrial Strategy progress and how LEPs are tackling the grand challenges and five foundations of the Industrial Strategy.

The meeting with LEP chairs was to track progress on their work with government to boost economic growth for communities across the country.

The Prime Minister heard from business leaders representing each of the LEPs across England, including those in the Northern Powerhouse (NP11). LEP chairs briefed the Prime Minister on the development of their Local Industrial Strategies – blueprints for driving long-term productivity and prosperity – which will see LEPs work closely with government to unlock local growth.

The council also covered updates on the timelines for delivering the Local Industrial Strategies, engagement with SMEs and rural communities, progress against the Grand Challenges identified in the Government’s Industrial Strategy which aim to keep the UK at the forefront of key global trends, and discussion around the latest business intelligence from across the country ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships have a vital role to play in delivering our modern Industrial Strategy. Working closely with government, their leadership is helping make sure businesses thrive as we prepare to leave the European Union.

“I was pleased to hear directly from LEP representatives how they are bringing together the local business community, universities and other partners to design long-term, ambitious plans tailored to the strengths and needs of their areas.

“Using their unique insight and expertise to co-develop Local Industrial Strategies, LEPs are boosting economic growth, securing jobs and delivering prosperity – making sure that no community is left behind.”

Cumbria LEP Chair Lord Inglewood said: “This was a productive meeting with the Prime Minister and key Government officials which gave us the chance to explain the impact that our Local Industrial Strategies will have on LEPs’ economic areas, and importantly how we will meet the ‘grand challenges’ which have been set out. The underlying message we’ve been able to take away is that it’s very clear that the Government sees the Cumbria LEP as an integral part of their system for delivering inclusive, economic growth across the country.”

Co-chair of the meeting and Chair of the South East Midlands LEP, Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, said:

“LEP leaders were pleased to talk to the Prime Minister today about the impact that Local Industrial Strategies will have on productivity and economic growth in our respective areas, and confirming that we are all on target to deliver them on schedule.

“LEPs are uniquely placed to build economic growth and productivity in our areas, and to exploit the vast business expertise in finding solutions to the four ‘grand challenges’ we all face and to tackle the Foundations of Productivity identified in the Industrial Strategy. Today’s meeting also allowed LEP business leaders to discuss how local businesses in their area are responding to, and preparing for, the UK’s exit from the European Union.

“This is the second meeting of the PM’s Council of LEP Chairs and firmly establishes the central role LEPs have in leading economic growth in their areas and the valuable dialogue with the Prime Minister that this council brings.

“Our unique partnership of private and public sector leaders with a solid track record of delivery, plays to our core strengths helping to build an ambitious programme of long-term local economic growth and increased productivity that works for everyone, no matter where they live.”

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