LEPs on Prisk agenda

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The minister for regional and local economic development, Mark Prisk, today hosted a round table event with business groups, local authorities and think tanks to listen to their views on the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Representatives discussed the issues and opportunities they see arising from the new structures and highlighted their areas’ priorities for growth. They also talked about issues in relation to the size, scope and geography they would want from a local enterprise partnership.

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Speaking after the meeting, Prisk said: “Our structural reforms call for a bottom-up approach. It’s crucial that local authorities and business work hand-in-hand to establish proposals for enterprise partnerships. Together they have the insight and understanding to set out a vision for a strong local economic future, and then decide what structures can best achieve that vision.

“Today’s positive meeting saw business and council leaders engage in a helpful conversation about forming effective partnerships that can provide real strategic leadership and drive local economic growth. I was grateful to hear their views and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our discussion in action over the coming weeks and months.”

It is anticipated that some LEPs will be in place by the end of the year to shadow the Regional Development Agencies, which will be wound up by March 2012.

Prisk is due in Cornwall tomorrow on a two-day visit, which will include taking in the latest developments of the Wave Hub project.