With the new year fast approaching, it’s time to reflect on the successes and challenges of 2018.

Despite a year of increased scrutiny, Local Enterprise Partnerships have received the firm backing of Government and a strengthened role as accelerators of local growth. With this mandate, we are working harder than ever to increase the visibility of our pipeline projects, designed to grow our businesses, upskill our workforce, improve our infrastructure and encourage innovation and investment within Hertfordshire.

The action plan we submitted in response to the requirements of Government’s LEP Review has been green-lighted, giving us a clear directive for the coming year. We are also well placed to make 2019 our year of the Local Industrial Strategy, having made significant strides in our strategy development process.

At our Annual Conference in March, we laid the groundwork for a strategy that showcases Hertfordshire’s potential by building on the cutting-edge innovation already taking place within our borders. Over 250 delegates registered to hear from a panel of inspirational speakers including Ocado, BRE, Royal Veterinary College and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult; all organisations setting benchmarks on a global level within their respective specialisms.

Supporting the strategy is the extensive economic evidence base we gathered over the summer to present at our sold-out State of the Economy event in November, kick-starting a Hertfordshire wide engagement period running until Spring 2019. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and we urge you to put forward your organisation’s views.

The new year will also bring the eagerly anticipated official launch of our Hertfordshire Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone, supported by the University of Hertfordshire, agri-tech pioneers Rothamsted Research and global building-science leader BRE, which as part of the Transforming Construction Alliance, was recently appointed to deliver the £72m Core Innovation Hub helping make the UK a world-leader in green construction techniques.

We have an exciting year ahead and while it may herald a change in the way we do things, rest assured we will be prepared as always to meet the challenges head on. Thank you for your continued support and on behalf of the LEP, I wish you a wonderful Christmas.

Mark Bretton, Hertfordshire LEP Chair

See the highlights of our year