LEPs can help map a route to local clean growth according to latest Localis report
Local Enterprise Partnerships have a clear role to play in helping local areas map a route to decarbonisation and net zero according to the latest report from the independent think tank Localis.
‘Mapping a Route to Clean Local Growth’ published today (16 November) sets out the practical actions that local areas need to take to lead the drive to hit net zero in local communities across five key sectors:
- Housing and the built environment
- Transport and infrastructure
- Land management
Among its findings, the paper underlines the importance of Local Net Zero Hubs, who are a collaboration of Local Enterprise Partnerships working together at scale on local energy projects. As the paper makes clear:
“…the Levelling Up White Paper…set out an outline for a long-term, cross- governmental policy regime against which to define and develop the future of regional economic development. The manufacturing sector has a notable role to play in this vision and helping level up regional economies, particularly…innovation, research & development, and production. LEPs are well-placed to lead in bringing out the potential of sector.”
The paper goes on to highlight the critical value of LEP’s Local Industrial Strategies and the urgent need for some clarification of those strategies:
“LEPs need clarity over the future of LIS…they are based on valuable knowledge of the local economy and key sectors. Regions need strategies to show which sectors need support, where growth can be best invested in, and the scale of delivery required. LIS can deliver that function and will need to be continuously reviewed and updated to ensure that they are relevant and attainable. Going forward, government need to address the status and role of LIS as a matter of urgency.
“Elsewhere, LEPs will be vital in linking providers of further education with employers to gain an understanding of the skills availability and demands of the local labour market, as well as demonstrating the value of certain skills pathways in the context of contemporary clean growth.”
LEP Network Chief Executive, Mark Livesey, welcomed the report:
" Mapping a Route to Clean Local Growth" is a timely reminder from Localis of some of the challenges to local decarbonisation, but it also points the way forward for key regional players like Local Enterprise Partnerships, who are translating that policy into pragmatic local measures that will deliver our national net zero goals.
“Their renewed emphasis on Local Industrial Strategies, coupled with a fresh call to look at a new wave of Enterprise Zones, both solid LEP strengths, at the very least deserves some consideration by ministers if we are to get a real grip on economic growth.”
LEPs also have a significant role in translating net zero policies into real world applications at local level. A lot of carbon emissions come from long trips going across boundaries, whether for commercial, recreational, or supply purposes, meaning that the decarbonisation of transport must involve cross-boundary working. The report emphasises that:
“Regional governance organisations, such as combined authorities, or Local Enterprise Partnerships, can facilitate this, as well as working towards producing data on where emissions are most acutely present in regions and localities.”
Among the reports conclusions are a recommendation to launch a new wave of enterprise zones to help support the transition to net zero in the manufacturing sector whilst also growing regional productivity. This is an area of LEP expertise which can easily be exploited to galvanise vital economic growth amid the challenges of the next few years.
A copy of the report is available from Localis.