Posted on:
7th May, 2021

LEPs interlink with government's Plan for Growth says think tank analysis

A new report from Localis, the independent think tank that focuses on regional and local economies, has praised the role of LEPs in local growth and recovery.

The analysis, A Plan for Local Growth, looks at the government’s blueprint for economic revival from a place-based viewpoint and calls on government to ensure the recently-announced Levelling Up White Paper supports community control of high-street regeneration, accelerates devolved skills reforms and defines a clear role for local authorities and their economic partners in driving economic development and meeting net zero targets.

As part of their analysis, the report highlights the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships, including the way LEPs have led on their economic strategies, and "the manner in which they sprang into action during the pandemic" 

The report goes on to conclude that the recent performance of LEPs "proves the integral role they play in local growth and recovery."

As the report states:

“When the decision was made in 2017 to put LEPs, instead of local authorities, in charge of devising LIS there were many, including Localis who were initially against the idea. However, the way in which many LEPs have led on their strategies, and the manner in which they sprang into action during the pandemic, proves the integral role they play in local growth and recovery.

"During the initial phases of the pandemic, LEPs released a 5 Point Plan for Recovery in July 2020 aimed at boosting local economies and getting them on the path to recovery73. This has subsequently been followed by a five-year blueprint to rebuild the local economy with a bottom-up approach in the LEP Network’s representation to the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review.

“This blueprint focuses on five core areas that happen to interlink with ambitions for growth and recovery the government has set out in the Plan for Growth. The focus of the blueprint is on ‘creating a business-led, local response to recover and rebuild the economy, seizing the opportunities of the UK’s new global position and working towards net zero carbon emissions’.

"Taking these factors together, there is a strong argument to be made for their continued leadership in completing LIS and seeing them implemented with continued government support.”

A full copy of the report along with a summary is available here.