This timely seminar brought together policymakers and stakeholders to examine the future for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and policy priorities for delivering regional projects in England.
It took place with plans outlined in the Industrial Strategy for a review of the role and responsibilities of LEPs as they develop their own local strategies, and with increased scrutiny of LEPs recommended by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
Attendees discussed how to improve engagement and collaboration between LEPs, businesses and local authorities in order to encourage growth - looking at the challenges for improving regional connectivity, developing clusters, and implementing local strategies.
Delegates also discussed the opportunities for LEPs to work alongside Combined Authorities and Metro Mayors, and what might be needed to make this collaboration a success.
With access to European Structural and Investment Funds ending as the UK withdraws from the EU, further sessions discussed priorities for the proposed UK shared prosperity fund, how LEPs might best take advantage of Industrial Strategy sector deals to secure funding for their region, and the steps that might be taken to encourage greater domestic and inward investment in regional projects.