LEP puts health at the heart of Local Industrial Strategy after extensive consultation

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) aims to put healthy lives and its world-leading healthcare technology sector at the heart of its Local Industrial Strategy, following extensive consultation across the region and beyond.

The Local Industrial Strategy, which will be published in Spring 2020, is a bold and ambitious plan to help Leeds City Region reach its full potential by tackling the legacy of health, social and environmental challenges that are a legacy of the City Region’s industrial heritage. The LEP believes enabling everyone to live healthy, active lives is one of the most effective ways of improving productivity across the City Region.

In developing the Local Industrial Strategy, the LEP has also identified the City Region’s unique position as a world leader in healthcare technology as a significant asset with potential to be a major source of jobs and growth.

With around £130 billion in funding for NHS commissioning, leadership and digital advancement, as well as public and private-sector healthcare data platforms, the UK’s largest concentration of medical device companies, and world-leading life sciences clusters, Leeds City Region is at the centre of public healthcare in the UK. 

Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the NP11, said: “Our unique concentration of healthcare assets and expertise gives us an unparalleled opportunity. Harnessing these distinctive assets could address the health issues people in our region face, lead to new treatments, and help us play a full role in solving national and global challenges like the ageing population.

“The Local Industrial Strategy is the product of comprehensive research, consultation and engagement, with inclusivity at its heart. The feedback we have received has had a real and tangible influence on the policies we have developed and has helped us understand what matters to the people who should benefit from the Local Industrial Strategy and how it can make a difference. 

“Not only does this make the Local Industrial Strategy truly representative and responsive to the needs of Leeds City Region, we believe it will be the most collaboratively designed Local Industrial Strategy in the country."

Over the past year, the LEP has consulted with over 1,000 people at more than 70 events in person and online, working closely with businesses, schools and community groups, and national and international experts, to test the evidence base and seek input on the draft policies. In doing so, the feedback the LEP has gained has helped:

  • Build stronger links between the key themes, as well as refining the approach to how the Local Industrial Strategy will support businesses with policies emphasising cross-sectoral ‘business behaviours’ that support productivity, such as sharing and adoption of ideas and technology, good management practices, and supporting employers to improve their employees' skills
  • Ensure that the policies address the connectivity of areas and the need to plan collaboratively across housing, transport, employment and skills agendas.
  • Identify the need to focus on management and leadership skills, as well as providing more clarity about the skills levels the Local Industrial Strategy needs to concentrate on (Level 4+ and below Level 2) and emphasising the need to generate demand for skills among businesses, rather than just improving the supply.
  • Deepen the LEP’s understanding around how the transition to a zero-carbon economy and the increasing role of digital and AI technologies in the workplace will affect the skills the City Region will need in the future, as well as the role of infrastructure in promoting clean growth.

The LEP plans to submit the Local Industrial Strategy to government in Spring 2020 to allow it to have a constructive conversation with a new government about how they are best able to work together to unlock and realise the City Region’s potential.

It will also allow the LEP the opportunity to further test and refine the proposals for the Local Industrial Strategy with partners across the City Region and ensure that it fully reflects the needs of businesses and communities across Leeds City Region.