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First meeting gets LEP off the ground

posted 22 Dec 2010, 02:23 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 14 Aug 2014, 07:22 ]
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board met on Monday 20 December for the first time, marking the start of a new way of working for the City Region. 

Sheffield City Region was recognised by the Government as one of the UK’s first Local Enterprise Partnerships in October, at the meeting last night the newly-appointed private sector Board Members and the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University were able to meet the local authority leaders of the city region.

The key economic issues affecting the Sheffield City Region and a number of important infrastructure projects were identified, as well as discussing a way forward for increasing the collaboration between all parts of the region. 

Heralding the importance of public and private sectors working together, local business is at the heart of the Local Enterprise Partnership with James Newman as the private sector Chairman and six private sector Board members brought together with the Civic Leaders to form a new board from scratch. 

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP said: “I am delighted to welcome all my new colleagues from the private sector to the Board. There were a large number of applications for the six places on the Board and those selected are of the highest calibre and will, I am sure, contribute significantly to the many challenges facing the Board. 

Between them, they span a broad spread of business sectors and all the geographical parts of the region, which should assist in bringing together the key industries and other partners, so essential to the success of the LEP.’’

One of the first key tasks is to communicate the aims and plans of the LEP with the private sector and to establish a way in which the wider business community can input into the future economic growth of the region in alongside and in partnership with the public sector.

Councillor Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “It was a great first meeting that focussed both business minds and public sector leaders on the job of getting the right things done for the local economy to promote economic growth and jobs. All in all, a very positive start to get our economy to where it should be.” 

The board showed their determination to ensure that the manufacturing national hub is based here in the City Region and are focused on ensuring we have great housing to drive the economy forward.

James Newman added: ‘’It was an excellent first meeting of the new Board, which is one of the first in the country to meet as a LEP, where its private sector members have been selected in an open recruitment process. 

“The task ahead is a challenging one, but I am confident that with the cooperation between the local authorities in the region, coupled with the private sector and university input, the Board will be able to set the strategic direction and economic targets and encourage and support both the private and public sector to work together to achieve these aims. ‘’  

The board will now be moving fast to get the first business plan to Government so that the LEP can get the tools to get on with the job.

The next LEP Board meeting will be held in January 2011. The board will continue to meet monthly for the initial six months.

For a list of the board members, please click here.