Prime Minister hears about West of England’s ambitions for growth

Downing Street

The Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Professor Steve West, met with the Prime Minister earlier this week to discuss the region’s potential for growth.

He and leaders of England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were at Downing Street to celebrate their achievements to date and to map out key areas for cooperation under the UK’s Modern Industrial Strategy.

This was the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s Council of LEP Chairs, made up of business leaders representing the 38 Partnerships.

Talks focussed on where LEPs carry maximum impact, delivering the objectives of the Modern Industrial Strategy in local areas, and investing in the skills people and businesses need.

Welcoming the Council of LEP Chairs, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships play a vital role in supporting businesses and innovation across England. That’s why our Modern Industrial Strategy is clear that they must continue to play a crucial role in our plans to deliver further growth in local economies.

“Today’s first meeting of the Council marks a milestone in this partnership. By working even more closely together, we will continue to maximise our efforts in creating jobs, growth and investment right across the country, delivering long-term, meaningful results for local communities.”

West said: “This was a great opportunity to sit down with the Prime Minister to identify how we as LEPs can support Government. Working with the Mayor Tim Bowles and the West of England Combined Authority, we have started discussions with Government on developing a Local Industrial Strategy for the West of England. This is an important opportunity for the region and we will work closely with Government to deliver our ambitions for clean and inclusive economic growth.”

The Council of Local Enterprise Partnership Chairs was announced in the 2017 Industrial Strategy White Paper as a new forum for LEP business leaders to help shape national policy decisions and ensure closer cooperation with the Government on Industrial Strategy objectives.