Time for growth as LEP submits game-changing economic Plan to government


The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has today submitted a game-changing Strategic Economic Plan to government to increase the City Region economy by a quarter, while shaving £675m off the nation’s benefits bill.

The LEP is bidding for a portion of the government’s £2bn Local Growth Fund to unlock the City Region’s immense potential, becoming the growth engine for the north and in turn, the nation.

Through targeted investment schemes to improve transport connectivity and maximise the opportunity of HS2; create more, better quality jobs for young people; and double house- building in the City Region, the LEP is aiming to deliver by 2021:

  • £5.2bn in additional economic output
  • 62,000 extra jobs
  • £675m in benefits savings to the Exchequer

Other measures in the Plan include an Energy Hub to deliver a 21st Century energy infrastructure that will improve resource efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business in the City Region, and programmes to boost private sector growth and innovation, including extending the LEP’s successful Business Growth Programme which to date has helped 200 SMEs grow and create around 2,000 jobs.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership commented:

“This is a game changing moment for our City Region. We genuinely believe that nowhere is better placed than right here, to rebalance the UK economy and deliver sustained future growth.”

“As a relevant, essential and enabling partner to business growth we will work hard to ensure growth is firmly back on the agenda in 2014.

“Put simply, for every £1 net we receive from the tax payer, we aim to deliver up to £10 enhanced economic output by 2021.

Our Plan is bold but highly credible. We need our partners, businesses and individuals to get behind the region and demonstrate to government that we are ready to get to work. For the City Region, it is no longer why, but why not.”

The Minister for Cities, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, said:

"The Government welcomes the Strategic Economic Plan that Leeds City Region LEP has published today and looks forward to continued engagement with local civic and business leaders over the next few months on the negotiation of their Growth Deal.

"The Growth Deal provides a fantastic opportunity for Leeds City Region LEP to seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from government, and a share of the Local Growth Fund to put towards their the growth priorities set out in this Strategic Economic Plan. This provides the opportunity to unleash the ambition and creativity of local leaders, by devolving resource and responsibility in return for compelling local economic leadership in pursuit of growth."

The LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan is the product of over nine months’ extensive research, and consultation with over 600 organisations, businesses and individuals across the City Region. It is based on a substantial evidence base built up over a decade of partnership- working among local authorities, businesses, universities and other partners.

In addition to bidding for significant new investment from the Local Growth Fund, the LEP and its partners have also committed substantial amounts of their own resources to ensure the Plan’s success. This includes pooling EU funding, business rates, transport and other local funding to create a £1.6bn West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund and a self-sustaining Leeds City Region Investment Fund to unlock future development and investment.

The submission of the Strategic Economic Plan comes a day ahead of the inauguration of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The Combined Authority will be the accountable body for the funding from the Local Growth Fund, providing a robust governance framework and democratic accountability to decision-making, and will work alongside the LEP to deliver the Local Growth Deal for West Yorkshire and the entire Leeds City Region.

The executive summary of our Strategic Economic Plan can be downloaded here

Help us raise the profile of the Leeds City Region’s bid and demonstrate why this is the best place to invest for future growth by joining the conversation on Twitter - #time4growth