Posted on:
22nd December, 2022

LEPs put place at the heart of a £2.7bn growth drive for the North

LEPs across the North of England have worked with local partners including Arts Council England and the Environment Agency, to forge a place based strategy that unlocks the strengths and opportunities of the region, adding a potential £2.7 billion to the Northern economy.

LEPs put place at the heart of a £2.7bn growth drive for the North

Arts, culture, heritage, nature and environment working together could provide an extra £2.7bn to the Northern economy, helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and regenerate the North.

This is according to the NP11 group of 11 northern local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), which has worked with partners including Arts Council England, the Environment Agency Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, to develop a cohesive ‘Place Strategy for the North’, alongside a delivery plan to deliver the mission, vision and strategic intent and propositions put forward in the strategy.

Arts, culture, heritage and nature make important contributions to economic growth and job creation across the North, as well as other major national priorities such as meeting net zero targets, regenerating town and city centres and boosting pride and wellbeing among communities.

Dehenna Davison MP, Minister for Levelling Up, said:

The publication of this report is a big moment for the North. As a born and bred Northerner myself, I know how important culture and heritage is to people right across this brilliant part of the country, and how proud we are that so much of our northern identity has shaped the rest of the country as a whole.

“And the government recognises this too, which is why culture and heritage are absolutely central to our mission in the landmark Levelling Up White Paper. Whilst much of levelling up is about spreading opportunity, it’s also about preserving the local identity of places right across the country.

“That’s why I’m delighted that partners across the north have come together to create a new strategy that truly unlocks the enormous strengths and opportunities in the region. I look forward to working closely with the NP11 group, as well as Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and Environment Agency, so we can realise the visions in the Place Strategy for the North and unleash the talent we have here.”

The Strategy sets out how a strengthened place proposition will boost investment and relocation interest, future prosperity and sustainability, and identifies the potential to add £2.7bn GVA (Gross Value Added) to the Northern economy on top of the £10.4bn already generated by the North’s arts, culture and heritage sectors.

Nature recovery and green space will play a key role in the plans – including the transformational opportunities available through Nature North such as the Northern Forest and The Great Northern bog – helping to drive growth and wellbeing, as will elevating the content creation sector across film, TV and broadcasting and rolling out financial support for businesses in the culture and creative industries.

Lord Inglewood DL, Chair of Cumbria LEP, and the reports co-author, said: 

“With the UK facing significant economic challenges, it’s vital that we continue to invest in local places, creating important local economic growth and ensuring people feel optimistic about the future of their communities.

“A Place Strategy for the North sets out the case for place and culture in the North and the framework is now all about delivering on the mission, vision, strategic intent and propositions put forward in the Strategy.

“These are our plans for a green, creative and future facing North which levers its diverse natural, historic and cultural capital to unlock economic prosperity and inclusive growth.”

The plans also outline the need for more emphasis on arts and creative in the school curriculum to meet future skill requirements, the need for strengthened research capabilities across natural, heritage and cultural capital and the opportunities for contribution to the North as a Life Sciences Supercluster.

A copy of the Place Strategy is available here.

The Delivery Plan Framework is available here. 

Read the full Place Strategy and Delivery Framework

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