The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) bid submitted by Coventry and Warwickshire has today been approved by the Government and was described as being one of the strongest applications.
The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP will deliver a change in how the private sector and public sector work together to transform and grow the sub-region for the benefit of local residents. Part of the submission to the Government included the objective of the LEP, which stated it would make ‘Coventry and Warwickshire a World Class economy in which to do business; a place to: lead a great life, excel at learning, visit and return to - all supported by exceptional private, public and voluntary services.’
LEPs will replace the controversial Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), such as Advantage West Midlands (AWM), but will be more specific to economic boundaries. RDAs wasted £247m on bureaucracy in 2008/2009 and since the creation of AWM in 1998 there have been fewer private sector jobs created. AWM has been criticised for being too focused on Birmingham.
Marcus Jones, the MP for Nuneaton, is a strong supporter of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and has lobbied both the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable MP, and the Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles MP, to approve the submission.
Commenting on the successful outcome, Marcus said: “I am delighted that the LEP has been approved and that it was complimented as being one of the strongest submissions in the country. I have spent a great deal of time lobbying in favour of this because it will make such a positive difference to the local economy and will create much needed new job opportunities.”
“Advantage West Midlands was heavily focused on Birmingham and sometimes neglected the wider need for genuine economic regeneration in the region, including Nuneaton. This LEP will be focused on the needs of economy in Coventry and Warwickshire, with Nuneaton certain to be able to benefit from it.
“I cannot underestimate how significant this approval is. It means that we can now begin the process of accessing the Government’s new Regional Growth Fund which is a fund worth £1.4 billion.”