Local Enterprise Partnership business leaders have gathered in London for the first time since the pandemic and the conclusion of the government’s LEP Review, to identify their priorities for the future as they develop their delivery plans and some prepare to integrate into regional authorities.
Their focus was on digital economy, science and innovation, and international trade, including a commitment to working with government to identify how LEPs can help deliver the UK digital strategy.
They were joined by the Prime Minister’s Chief Business Advisor Alex Hickman and government ministers, including the Minister for Tech and Digital Economy Chris Philp, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman, Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone, and Levelling Up Minister Neil O’Brien.
The LEPs decided a key priority is developing local digital economies, focusing on how LEPs will support delivery of the government’s UK Digital Strategy announced at Tech Week earlier this month. Part of that includes a commitment to working group with government to gauge how LEPs can build on the success of their Local Digital Skills partnerships amid an ambition to roll them out across the country.
Chris Philp said: “Everyone should be able to get the skills needed to seize the benefits of new technology and forge a career in the UK’s booming digital industries.
“This is at the heart of the Digital Strategy and Local Enterprise Partnerships will play a vital role in delivering it by helping to boost growth, jobs and opportunities in tech across the country.”
LEPs are also putting their weight behind international trade opportunities and exploiting local economic strengths that boost innovation, where they have a strong card to play including driving international trade opportunities with the likes of North East LEP, D2N2 LEP, and Enterprise M3 LEP working with the Department for International Trade and local stakeholders to utilise global markets that will drive local competitiveness, increase productivity, and create more and better jobs.