There has been no let-up for LEPs during the summer parliamentary recess and, once again, Hertfordshire is right in the centre of things.

Government has fortified the role and remit of LEPs in a review released over the summer, titled ‘Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships’. Hailing LEPs as the ‘voice of business within the country’, the review reinforces our role as drivers of business-led economic growth, thanks to our strong track record of private sector partnerships.

It sets out how Government and LEPs will work together to strengthen leadership and capability, improve accountability, manage risk, and provide clarity on geography. We are delighted that here in Hertfordshire we are already meeting the majority of the proposed recommendations.

Over the coming months, I look forward to working closely with other LEPs as part of a new steering group that draws on our combined business experience to ensure the requirements of the review are properly implemented. There are also two other sub-projects underway that I will be involved with, one of which I will be chairing. Our priority is to ensure Hertfordshire remains best placed in this climate of change, with the prize ultimately being the UK Shared Prosperity Fund; the post-Brexit means of securing investment.

Government and LEPs will also collaborate extensively to develop Local Industrial Strategies to drive up productivity using our comparative strengths and knowledge capabilities. These strategies will set out how LEPs will work with businesses, academia and Government to harness the potential of the four Grand Challenges facing the UK, namely Ageing Society, Artificial Intelligence & Data Economy, Clean Growth and the Future of Mobility.

As part of the development process, our Business Envoys and BRE will host a workshop on 18 September to encourage greater public and private sector collaboration by sharing IT best practice and how this can be applied to the Grand Challenges in Hertfordshire. We will be sharing the findings with you. If your organisation would like to get involved, please email info@hertfordshirelep.co.uk.

We will continue keep you informed on both the progress of our Local Industrial Strategy and the outcomes of the LEP Review. Find out more about the LEP Review and our response to date. 

Mark Bretton, Hertfordshire LEP Chair

Read the July/August 2018 newsletter