Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership gets green light

THE Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership bid has today been given the green light to proceed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Local Enterprise Partnerships have been created by BIS and the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to bring businesses and the public sector together to help tackle issues such as local transport and infrastructure, economic development, employment, planning and housing, enterprise and supporting business start-ups.

The partnership bid was one of only a handful of bids to be approved by BIS and CLG ministers, and the announcement comes on the same day as the Local Growth White Paper is published.

Leaders from businesses, local authorities, universities and social enterprises submitted the partnership proposal to Government in September this year, based on the complementary functional economic areas of Cambridge and Peterborough together with Rutland, King’s Lynn West Norfolk, alongside neighbouring market towns and communities.

The mission of the partnership is to “lead our area’s growth to 100,000 significant businesses and create 160,000 new jobs by 2025 in an internationally renowned low carbon, knowledge-based economy”.

The specific details of the structure and functions of the partnership will now be worked up by a private and public sector partnership group, in conjunction with officials from BIS and CLG, over the coming weeks.

John Bridge, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership Project Board, said: “Today’s news is clearly a very positive step as we collectively strive towards growth for our economic area.

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“The publication of the White Paper will hopefully mean that we are in a position to truly drive our vision forward and for local authorities, higher education and business to continue to work together to maximise the opportunities that this partnership will bring.”

Fenland councillor Jill Tuck, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is good news for the people of Cambridgeshire. One of our main priories is to ensure the continued prosperity of our communities.

“This new Local Enterprise Partnership will help support the growth of small and large businesses as well as the creation of new companies. It will help bring jobs and funding to Cambridgeshire as well as the chance to provide much needed infrastructure and facilities for residents.

“By working together businesses, public authorities and universities will be ensuring the area is best placed to secure the investment needed to grow our local economy.”

Peterborough City Council Leader, Councillor Marco Cereste, also welcomed today’s decision and said: “This agreement means that Peterborough, Cambridge and our other partners can capitalise on our complementary strengths to promote business and jobs growth.

“Peterborough’s strong environmental business sector and our commitment to substantial and sustainable growth offer attractive prospects for inward investors and provide a solid foundation for continuing economic success.”

Councillor Roger Begy, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “In view of the recent decision to reduce RAF activity at various bases across the LEP, including RAF Cottesmore in Rutland, this is welcome news to enable us to regenerate our communities.

“It also gives us a platform for a more co-ordinated approach to tackle key rural issues such as access to high speed broadband.”

Professor Ian White from the University of Cambridge, said: “The University of Cambridge is delighted to learn that the LEP has been approved, and it welcomes the opportunity to continue to work in partnership with organisations in the region.”

• You can find out more about and download the original partnership proposal by clicking the link at the top of this page.