David Cameron has backed Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to drive economic growth in the country following an event at 10 Downing Street this week.
On 23 July, Hertfordshire LEP Chair John Gourd met with the Prime Minister and other leading figures from the coalition government including; Vince Cable, Eric Pickles and Greg Clark to discuss the next steps for LEPs following last month’s spending review.
The event offered the country’s 39 LEP chairs an opportunity to hear from senior ministers as they pledged their continued support to locally driven growth across the country.
The Prime Minister expressed his view that LEPs are best placed to understand local issues and encouraged the chairs to create ambitious plans for their areas. He also stressed the importance of engaging with key stakeholders throughout the development of the local strategic plans.
Since its formation in 2012 Hertfordshire’s LEP has looked to champion business and recently consulted around a draft Growth Strategy which sets out a clear vision that by 2030 Hertfordshire will be the leading economy at the heart of the Golden Triangle.
Hertfordshire LEP Chair John Gourd said: “I’m pleased to see that the Government is continuing to put its faith in LEPs. The Hertfordshire LEP is starting to make real progress. We’ve created a bold vision for the future and we’re working hard to ensure that vision is backed up by a practical growth strategy. Our LEP has a leading role to play in driving not only the county’s but also the country’s economic recovery. It’s absolutely essential that we continue working closely with government and ensure that Hertfordshire fulfils its potential.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships are driving growth across the country with energy and imagination. This Government made sure that the Spending Round put more fuel in their tanks, and local leaders can now make use of £2 billion pounds a year to support new businesses, create new jobs, create thriving communities and make Britain a great place to do business.”
The Hertfordshire LEP has completed its consultation and is now in the process of finalising its Growth Strategy and action plan in time for Autumn.