LEP needs focus, says CCCI


The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has warned of the dangers of the upcoming Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) becoming an “expensive talking shop”.

Following consultations with its members, the CCCI has produced a paper on its findings, where it stresses that the LEP “needs to avoid becoming another well-meaning but expensive talking shop. This means a narrow brief focussing on a few tasks that can have real impact”.

It says that the LEP, which is due to replace the South West RDA, should focus on what it is “good at, rather than what we wish we were good at”, pointing to established sectors such as engineering, tourism and food and drink.

The CCCI also gives its backing for the establishment of a Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, calling a joint Devon and Cornwall LEP as the “worst of all worlds; not focussed enough to deliver on the ground but too narrow to provide a platform for the few ‘infrastructure’ and marketing priorities that might require a wider partnership”.

The CCCI has also voiced the opinion that it would be wrong to specify the Cornwall Development Company as the sole delivery body of the LEP. It says: “If the intention is to develop a balanced economy we need to make it easy for alternative delivery options to come from the private sector.”