In June 2010 the coalition government announced its commitment to establish Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to replace Regional Development Agencies. Businesses and councils were invited to come together to form LEPs whose geography properly reflects the natural economic areas of England.
Interim Hertfordshire LEP Board established.
John Gourd, who has been a LEP Board Member since its inception takes over as Chairman in July 2011. Hertfordshire LEP is fully ratified by Government in 2012. £16m Growing Places Fund (GPF) allocated to LEP to create jobs and unlock infrastructure investment.
March 2013, Lord Heseltine publishes No stone unturned: in pursuit of growth, which outlined his blueprint for the future economic growth including:
“...significant devolution of funding from central government to Local Enterprise Partnerships so that government investment in economic development is tailored directly to the individual challenges and opportunities of our communities, and can be augmented by private sector investment”
First Phase GPF projects approved:
Elstree Studios: £2m loan to help finance new film and TV facilities and additional business premises.
Maylands Business Park: £3.5m to kickstart two stalled sites to create a combination of new business units and homes.
Watford Health Campus: £6m to support infrastructure to improve access to the site, where there will be a new hospital, housing, offices, a hotel, a business park and green spaces for the local community.
LEP publishes Strategic Economic Plan: The SEP was lauded by Government and was a critical component in securing the Growth Deal.
Invests £0.5m to bring superfast broadband to key Business Parks (Maylands, Centennial and Gunnels Wood) and work with Connected Counties to stimulate demand and encourage take-up of broadband opportunities.
LEP secures allocation of £59m European Funding to invest in Skills and Business support in Hertfordshire following publication of its EU Strategic Investment Framework, which was one of the first to be approved by government.
Introduces Grants4Growth: a small scale capital equipment grant to encourage investment in low carbon technologies. Funding coming to an end this financial year.
2014/2015: our most successful year to date
Growth Deal 1: LEP secures £200m Growth Deal, the fifth largest settlement (per head) across the 39 LEP areas: July 2014.
Growth Deal 2: Additional £22.3m allocated for 2016/17, bringing the total expanded Growth Deal for Hertfordshire to £221.5m alongside the provision of £19.63m of borrowing for Dacorum Borough Council at the Public Works Loan Board project rate to support regeneration in Hemel Hempstead.
Establishes Hertfordshire Growth Hub with funding from University of Hertfordshire. Growth Hub to provide advice for established SMEs with ambitions to grow. Specific expertise in Business Development, Access to Finance, Innovation & Technology, Sales and Marketing and Skills.
Establishes A1(M) consortium and resulting advocacy campaign involving partners, MPs and businesses. This helped secure £50m in November 2014 to provide a smart motorway system to reduce congestion.
Supported the successful proposal for a Cell Therapy Manufacturing Catapult at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, securing £55m for a resource that cements Hertfordshire’s life sciences credentials.
First Hertfordshire Skills Strategy published which sets out a detailed action plan to help increase and develop both our existing and future workforce.
Hertfordshire Apprenticeship Strategy published which sets out our vision as outlined in our Strategic Economic Plan to increase employer participation and the number of apprenticeship vacancies as well as providing appropriately skilled and motivated applicants.
2015 onwards – delivering our economic strategy
Growth Deal 1 funding arrived April 2015.
Growth Area Forums: these have been defined spatially around the principal road and rail corridors of the M1/M25, A1(M) and M11/M10. We are engaging with businesses in each of these Growth Area Forums to identify priorities including strategic development sites, and gaps in infrastructure provision, that will be prioritised and championed by the LEP to unlock private sector investment and job creation.
Getting ready to call for projects to launch 5 year £73+ m Business Support Package financed by£24m from Local Growth Fund, £44m from EU Funding, £5m from Growing Places Fund.