This conference discussed the future of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and next steps for regional growth in England, bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers in local and national government.
With the Government’s major focus on regional growth, devolved powers, and levelling up, delegates assessed:
- The development and implementation of Local Industrial Strategies (LIS);
- The outlook for further devolution - with expected publication of the English Devolution White Paper - and the role of LEPs in distributing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund; and
- Progress on LEP accountability and strategic priorities since the Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships review.
We were pleased to include keynote addresses from:
- Mark Bretton, Chair, The LEP Network and Chair, Hertfordshire LEP;
- Mark Livesey, Chief Executive, The LEP Network; and
- Aileen Murphie, Local Government Value for Money, National Audit Office and Director, MHCLG.
Further speakers included: Mark Duddridge, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership; Sean Hanson, Local Partnerships; Tracy Harrison, Northern Housing Consortium; Mike Hawking, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Jim Hubbard, CBI; Stacey King, Enterprise M3 and CityFibre; Jo Lappin, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership; Mark Livesey, The LEP Network; Alistair Lomax, Arc Universities Group; Bob Perkins, AECOM; Helen Randall, Trowers & Hamlins and Heather Sharp, KPMG.
- Next steps for Local Enterprise Partnerships and delivering regional projects;
- Local Enterprise Partnerships and providing value for money;
- Meeting strategic priorities - cost efficiency, improving accountability and strengthening local infrastructure;
- Supporting local growth and regeneration - the impact of further devolution and outlook for the Shared Prosperity Fund;
- The role of LEPs in supporting the development and delivery of Local Industrial Strategies; and
- Local Industrial Strategies implementation - utilising regional strengths, developing partnerships, and sharing best practice.
Engagement with policy officials at this conference
This Westminster Social Policy Forum conference attracted particularly strong interest from policymakers. It was an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: the BEIS; MHCLG; DCMS; the Cabinet Office; HM Treasury; the Cities & Local Growth Unit; the Infrastructure and Projects Authority; Defra; DfT; the Department for Education; Ofsted; DIT; DWP; Government Equalities Office; HMRC; Innovate UK; the Office of Government Property and UK Space Agency.
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