Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have come a long way since their inception in 2010. The LEPs may all have started out from different points and evolved at different speeds, but as a group they are now firmly established as the lead agencies for promoting local growth. LEPs can’t solve all the problems facing local economies but as a group, they have demonstrated they can make a difference.
The challenge ahead will be to see through their plans and programmes and deliver their economic strategies. Some of the LEPs, however, are arguably under-powered and under-resourced for the tasks they face and their immediate. Despite their varying capabilities and limited core funding they will all have to ensure that public and private funds are spent effectively and deliver results in terms of improved productivity and local economic growth.
Our Talking Points with the Smith Institute draws on interviews with 22 LEP leaders (mainly chairs and chief Executives) and a briefing event hosted at the LEP Annual Conference in March 2015 to explore ‘where next’ for Local Enterprise Partnerships.