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Local Enterprise Partnerships

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This note examines the history and current responsibilities of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

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The Government announced the approval of 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the October 2010 White Paper Local Growth: Realising Every Place’s Potential. A further 15 LEPs, including one covering the whole of London, were subsequently approved, taking the total to 39. All areas of England are covered by a LEP.

These non-statutory bodies assumed many of the responsibilities of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and have responsibility for Enterprise Zones. LEPs were able to bid for funding from the first four rounds of the Regional Growth Fund, but barred from bidding in rounds 5 and 6, which were only be open to private enterprises.

In March 2014 all 39 LEPs submitted Strategic Economic Plans to negotiate Growth Deals, with funding awarded from the Single Local Growth Fund, created in the 2013 Spending Review. In July 2014, the government announced details of funding received by each LEP over the period 2015 - 2021. In January 2015, the government expanded the deals, with LEPs awarded a further £1 billion in total between 2016 and 2021. The 2016 Budget included the announcement that up to £1.8 billion will be allocated through a further round of Growth Deals in the course of 2016. This was was confirmed in the 2016 Autumn Statement, though allocations to individual LEPs have yet to be announced. As of March 2016, £7.3 billion worth of Growth Deal funding has been allocated to LEPs.

LEPs have also been allocated money from the Growing Places Fund to be spent on infrastructure and have been given responsibility for delivering part of the EU Structural and Investment Funds for 2014-2020.

Commons Briefing papers SN05651

Author: Matthew Ward

Topics: Business support, Economic policy, Economic situation, Regeneration, Regional development agencies

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