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Posted on:
17th January, 2019

How Leicester LEP made a difference in 2018

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has released a retrospective charting its achievements, and the achievements of local businesses, in 2018.

How Leicester LEP made a difference in 2018

As 2019 gets underway, full of new possibilities and challenges, it’s also a chance to reflect. 2018 was a great year for the LLEP, and for Leicester and Leicestershire business. The LLEP has compiled these into its annual ‘Year in the life of the LLEP’ publication, which is available for download at www.bit.ly/thellepin2018

The LLEP’s achievements in 2018 were many and varied, and span a range of sectors, projects and targets.

One of the highlights of the year was the launch of the LLEP Business Survey in February 2018. Over 1,000 employers across the LLEP area were interviewed by telephone in August to October of 2017 for the business survey. It found, among other things, that 69% of Leicestershire businesses forecast increased turnover in the coming year, and that 46% of local enterprises had seen an increase in profitability.

Former LLEP Chair Nick Pulley said at the time:

“This survey provided a snapshot of the Leicester and Leicestershire business landscape. It delivered a robust source of intelligence and acted as a tool to underpin our strategic thinking and the local economic strategy.

“Going forward, the LLEP will continue to work with key partners to create the right conditions for business growth. This will allow our businesses to flourish and help to attract investment into Leicester and Leicestershire.”

In July, the Leicester and Leicestershire became one of only twenty regions to gain funding to set up a careers hub. The LLEP Careers Hub will be launched at the end of January 2019, under the guidance of the LLEP’s Enterprise Advisor network (EAN) team and the Careers and Enterprise Company. It will work to improve careers education in schools and colleges across the region, and expand the horizons and ambitions of local young people as they prepare to leave education and enter the world of work.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: 

“We’re excited by the potential impact of the Hub. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we’re not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”

One of the signature achievements of the LLEP as we move into the next decade will be the publication and implementation of a Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) for Leicester and Leicestershire. In July last year, the LLEP was selected by central government to form part of the second wave of LISs. Leicester and Leicestershire was the only local enterprise partnership in the East Midlands to be selected in the second wave.

Kevin Harris, LLEP Chair, said:

“We planned our Local Industrial Strategy Prospectus months in advance to ensure we were ready when the Government called for more regions to submit proposals.  I am delighted that we have been selected to submit a full Local Industrial Strategy for our area.

“We can now work with Government on major investment projects across key sectors to drive our economy forward, creating good quality jobs and improving infrastructure to make Leicester and Leicestershire a location of choice for businesses and a great place for people to live and work.”

The LLEP’s call for evidence, which will form the basis of the Local Industrial Strategy for Leicester and Leicestershire, is open until 31 January 2019. All local economic stakeholders are invited to respond at www.bit.ly/llepcallforevidence.

In September 2018, MIRA Technology Park – one of the region’s two Enterprise Zones – announced the construction of a new Technology Institute. The institute was created to satisfy the demand for specialist skills in the automotive industry – an issue which must be addressed if the sector is to continue to thrive in the UK. The project was backed by £9.5m of LLEP Local Growth Deal funding.

George Gillespie OBE, CEO at HORIBA MIRA, said:

“The MIRA Technology Institute is a unique solution that has been created to address a very real problem the UK automotive sector is facing. Importantly, it is well aligned with the government’s new Industrial Strategy. It will be a huge asset to MIRA Technology Park but we hope its benefits will be felt throughout the UK auto sector and beyond.”

In December, the LLEP launched Skills for the Future 2018-2030. It sets out expected growth in employment in key industries across the region. The report can be downloaded at http://www.bit.ly/LLEPskillsforthefuture

Finally, 2018 was another great year for the LLEP Business Gateway. Its flagship Growth Hub ended the year with 1013 enquires, 1400 hours of support and 239 business adviser appointments. More information on the Business Gateway and how it can help with starting, funding and growing a business is available at http://www.llepbizgateway.co.uk/

The LLEP aims to build on its success in 2018 with another great year in 2019. Already, plans are in motion to ensure the Local industrial Strategy for Leicester and Leicestershire is a success; to ensure that the region is well-represented at the annual MIPIM business conference in Cannes, France; and to continue to fund the delivery of important infrastructure projects across the LLEP area.