Cheshire & Warrington LEP Chair meets Prime Minister to discuss UK industrial strategy

THE Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has joined LEP leaders at a meeting (19 June 2018) with the Prime Minister to map out key areas for cooperation under the UK’s Modern Industrial Strategy. 

In the first Council of LEPs at Downing Street, Christine Gaskell, with the other 37 leaders, discussed with Theresa May where LEPs carry maximum impact: delivering the objectives of the Modern Industrial Strategy in local areas, and investing in the skills people and businesses need.

The meeting came less than a week after civic and business leaders in Cheshire and Warrington began developing a local Industrial Strategy for the region focussing on key challenges and opportunities.

Welcoming the Council of LEP Chairs, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships play a vital role in supporting businesses and innovation across England. That’s why our Modern Industrial Strategy is clear that they must continue to play a crucial role in our plans to deliver further growth in local economies. 

“Today’s first meeting of the Council marks a milestone in this partnership. By working even more closely together, we will continue to maximise our efforts in creating jobs, growth and investment right across the country, delivering long-term, meaningful results for local communities.”

At the meeting LEP leaders reinforced their commitment to help deliver a national Industrial Strategy, using their strengths and expertise to lead local strategies for economic growth and partner more effectively with local government.

From fostering partnerships between businesses and institutions to enable vital research, to spearheading cutting-edge initiatives at the local level in clean growth and supporting major areas of expansion such as the medical technologies sector, LEPs are playing a crucial role in the delivery of the Modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation.

Christine Gaskell said: “This was a welcome opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and highlight our current achievements while identifying the key areas in which England’s LEPs can assist the government.

“The public and private sectors in Cheshire and Warrington have already started the process of mapping out how we will go about building on our economic strengths in line with the government’s commitment to ‘place’ based development and growth.

“Each of the LEPs is best placed to advise on what is right for its locality and geography and this meeting was part on an ongoing dialogue with government to ensure that any programme is suitably ambitious and delivers long-term economic growth that works for everyone.”

The Council of Local Enterprise Partnership Chairs was announced in the 2017 Industrial Strategy White Paper as a new forum for LEP business leaders to help shape national policy decisions and ensure closer cooperation with the Government on Industrial Strategy objectives.