Green light for Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP

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The Government has today given the green light to the formation of a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Ministers announced the first wave of successful partnerships as part of a new plan for local economic growth. In total the Government received 62 responses to its invitation to form an LEP, with 24 today being asked to progress their proposals to the next stage.

The announcement forms part of a White Paper on Local Growth, which sets out the Government’s new approach to “rebalance the economy”.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: “I was delighted that so many of the proposals for local enterprise partnerships showed real imagination and initiative and a genuine desire to drive local economic growth. I am pleased to announce that we are asking 24 of these partnerships to set up their boards and get to work.

“The knowledge and expertise of the private sector, local authorities and their local communities will be crucial as we work to create a better environment for business and ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities that growth brings.”

“This announcement is just the start of some pretty hard work to come. We have all pressed for a greater private sector influence on public-sector thinking – now we have no excuses; it is time to deliver”

The closure of the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) was confirmed in the Budget and they are expected to cease activity by March 2012.

Commenting on the news, Martin Follett, chairman of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is good news and a credit to the many people who put in a great deal of time and effort; not least the Chamber of Commerce teams in Cornwall and London.

“Our members were very clear: the huge majority wanted to see a LEP for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, so that we can focus on the practical issues that can hold back growth in the private sector.

“Things like planning policy, a more sensible approach to some Convergence investments, a greater focus on the key pieces of infrastructure we all need, a more pragmatic set of strategies and targets for the economy.

“There is still work to do on structure to ensure that the partnership is genuinely led by the private sector, but we are confident that businesses can rise to the challenge. Certainly we would see that as part of our role on behalf of our members.

“This announcement is just the start of some pretty hard work to come. We have all pressed for a greater private sector influence on public-sector thinking – now we have no excuses; it is time to deliver.”

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