Firms urged to get involved with region’s business debates

Ursula Lidbetter

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is inviting businesses to have their say this year on some of the big issues of the day.

The LEP is to stage a series of Big Debates throughout this year, with and the first of these – a discussion about the Midlands Engine – will take place in May.

The Big Debate: Greater Lincolnshire at the Heart of the Midlands Engine for Growth will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Lincoln on Wednesday 4th May between 8am and 10.30am.

“Your LEP doesn’t just want to tell you about what’s happening – we also want you to be part of the discussions, and we’re keen to hear your views,” said Ursula Lidbetter, pictured, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

“In 2016 we will also be staging a number of Big Debates to discuss important topics, and the first of these will tackle the Midlands Engine.”

After an introduction by Ursula Lidbetter, Midlands Engine Director David Sharif will address the audience and Councillor Colin Davie from Lincolnshire County Council will lead a panel discussion with representatives from the business community.

The area covered by the Midlands Engine was set by government in 2015 and includes 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Midlands.

The ambitions of the Midlands Engine are to grow the economy, close the productivity gap, improve skills, create jobs, connect towns and cities more effectively, compete in global markets and attract foreign investment.

One of the key priorities is to improve the supply chain by developing and implementing a multi-sector staged approach to improving operational performance and competitiveness in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, rail and nuclear.

Successes for the Midlands Engine to date include:

  • securing £180m for the Energy Research Accelerator
  • establishing a £250m European fund to provide financial support for the SME growth ambitions of the Midlands
  • winning a bid to undertake a Science and Innovation Audit to assess the region’s capabilities and opportunities for innovation excellence
  • launching the first Midlands Engine Pitchbook at MIPIM in March 2016 offering a wealth of investment opportunities

Breakfast is included. To book your place send an email to