Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is postponing its annual conference until Friday January 18, 2019, pending an announcement on how the Government’s review of LEPs will be implemented.
LEPs are to be given an expanded role to supercharge economic growth and drive forward investment in local businesses across the country.
The review’s proposals, which include up to £20m additional Government funding for the 38 LEPs across England, aim to enable LEPs to continue to build on their strengths as unique business-led local organisations, brokering business partnerships, developing local Industrial Strategies, and setting the economic direction that shapes their local area.
In return for building their reformed role, LEP business leaders want to see a commitment from government to the funding and means to deliver the scale of opportunity that the review offers. LEP leaders also want to see a joint commitment from government departments to the localism agenda, and confirmation that LEPs will oversee the local allocations of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU funding after Brexit.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP’s conference was due to be held on Friday October 26, but it is likely that final details of the new-look LEPs will not have been confirmed by then.
So we are taking the opportunity to move our annual conference to January 18, 2019 when we will share progress and our vision for the coming year. Board members will then be to give a full update to local businesses and partner organisations on future plans to grow the economy, raise skills levels and create more and better jobs in our area.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised the important role that LEPs have to play as business-led organisations shaping and driving economic growth with policies that are tailored to local needs and aspirations.
“We look forward to continuing our task of bringing more and better jobs to our region, raising skills levels and promoting Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as a great place to live, work, do business and invest.
“Moving the conference means we will have a much clearer picture of the future when we report back to local businesses and organisations on our successes and ambitions.”
The conference takes place on Friday January 18 at Uttoxeter Racecourse, Uttoxeter, ST14 8DB. The event will run from 9.15 to 12.30pm, followed by lunch and networking, and is free to attend for all local businesses.
If you would like to attend please contact LEP office manager Julie Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01785 719002.