The West of England LEP is one of 24 new partnerships across England which has been given the green light by the Government.
Our LEP comprises an economic area defined by industry clusters, transport, retail catchment areas and travel to work patterns. Its geographical footprint embraces Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.
These new partnerships between local businesses and councils will replace regional development agencies (RDAs) when they are abolished in April 2012.
In a letter of support for the West of England LEP bid, Professor Kevin Edge, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “This proposal offers a clear vision of how to build on the increasing momentum of our economic region, and it is a vision that we can enthusiastically endorse.
“Our economic region has a wealth of assets, including universities that are enterprising and engaged with economic development. Between us, our world class research centres and academic portfolios offer innovation and technology transfer opportunities that clearly underpin the five priority high growth sectors outlined in the proposal: creative media; advanced engineering, aerospace and defence; micro-electronics and silicon design; environmental technologies/marine renewable industries; and tourism.
“The University of Bath itself has a growing reputation for supporting economic development within the City of Bath (eg. its recently expanded Innovation Centre), and the natural economic region described by the West of England LEP proposal (eg. its support for the SPark development and its leadership of the Western Vocational Lifelong Learning Network).”
In its bid document the West of England LEP listed its aims as follows:
- Create the conditions for business to flourish, leading to an increase of about 95,000 jobs by 2030.
- Promote the key growth sectors in the West of England, both nationally and abroad, to contribute 3.4 per cent cumulative annual growth in total Gross Value Added by 2020.
- Lever in over £1 billion of private sector investment over the next five years to support economic development and the provision of infrastructure.
- Foster a well motivated, aspirational workforce with the skills that businesses need.
- Set the foundations for long-term substantial and sustainable economic development, building on the West of England’s high quality environment, our high quality businesses, our highly skilled workforce, and opportunities to develop a low carbon economy, whilst at the same time addressing the regeneration and skills needs of our existing disadvantaged communities.