Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:06

Gloucestershire joins LEP network

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Gloucestershire joins LEP network

GLOUCESTERSHIRE has become the latest addition to the local enterprise partnership network.

Businesses in the county will be supported the partnership after it was approved by the government on Wednesday (18 May).

The Gloucestershire local enterprise partnership covers Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury - a population of around 600,000 and over 25,000 businesses.

It joins the 33 partnerships announced since the Government's Local Growth White Paper was published in October last year.

The priority of the private sector-led partnership - which the government said had support from all seven councils in Gloucestershire - is to promote growth and create jobs in the area.

It will work to achieve this by building relationships with its neighbouring local enterprise partnership to help address strategic issues.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "With the Regional Growth Fund and the Enterprise Zones both open for bids, now is the time for local enterprise partnerships to seize the opportunities to bring significant investment to their areas.

"I want all local communities to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the private sector and the opportunities that growth brings.

"We are edging closer to having 100% coverage of local enterprise partnerships in England and we are continuing to assess proposals for further partnerships in areas which are currently not represented."

Some 34 local enterprise partnerships now cover over 90% of the country.

A range of measures to support local enterprise partnerships include a one off £5 million Start Up Fund to help partnerships get on a sustainable financial footing.

An online toolbox will provide partnerships with information on government economic development policies and how national and local initiatives can dovetail to help local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Partnerships now also have relationship managers in BIS Local offices who will act as a single point of contact for information and guidance.

Billed as replacements for regional development agencies, local enterprise partnerships bring together local business and civic leaders, working to support their local economy.

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