Embedding rural areas into Local Enterprise Partnerships

posted by CRC | 18 November 2010 at 10:35 am | Comments Off | from the category: News

People walking through a high streetThe Government is determined “…that all parts of the country benefit from sustainable economic growth.” (Local growth: realising every place’s potential.  HM Government 28  October 2010) To achieve this it will be imperative that Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) embed their rural areas into their evidence gathering and analysis; into their dialogue and partnership with local business and other communities; into the development of strategies and plans; and that the rural voice is given fair and full measure in their decision processes.

Our rural economies form, in aggregate, around 20% of England’s economy, as measured on several indicators of input and output.  To help new, and would-be, LEPs harness rural growth and potential, we recently reviewed how previous economic partnerships understood and embraced rural in their work.

Our report Recognising rural interests within Local Enterprise Partnerships draws out good practice from several areas, on four themes, ranging through evidence to representation.

The report also contains our reflections on how rural is represented in many LEP proposal documents, and suggests steps that local partnerships and central government can take to ensure that rural parts of the country contribute to and benefit from this drive to more local economic development.

We are also making available at this time, the evidence we submitted in August to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee for its inquiry into Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Regional Growth Fund. Some of our concerns – such as those about how rural economies will be supported where no LEP has been approved; and the proposed structure of the Regional Growth Fund – may be alleviated with recent government announcements.

We will continue to seek to support BIS  and LEPs themselves to develop their structures and functions, to ensure equitable treatment for rural economies.

Read the report here: Local Enterprise Partnership report

View the submitted evidence: Local Enterprise Partnership inquiry submission

For more details contact Adam Lavis – adam.lavis@ruralcommunities.gov.uk or Johanna Davies johanna.davies@ruralcommunities.gov.uk

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