Last edited 29 Nov 2020

Local enterprise partnerships

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are partnerships between local authorities and businesses that decide investment priorities for sustainable economic growth across their local economic area. This can include investment in roads, buildings and other facilities.

They emerged from the coalition government’s localism agenda announced in the 2010 Budget. The local growth white paper, published in October 2010, defined the function of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The first Local Enterprise Partnerships were created in 2011, replacing Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) which were phased out in 2012. In June 2013, a fund of at least £2bn a year was created for LEPs (the Local Growth Fund).

By 2014, there were 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships in England. An interactive map of Local Enterprise Partnerships is available on Tripline.

The government has created a local enterprise partnerships network to help LEPs share knowledge and ideas.

Local Enterprise Partnerships can bid to create enterprise zones, intended to encourage growth and create new businesses and jobs by allowing simplified planning procedures and through business rates discounts. Enterprise zones are geographically defined areas of 'economic opportunity', usually 50 to 150 hectares on ‘clean’ sites (sites with few existing business occupants). See Enterprise zones for more information.

On 7 July 2014, the government announced a series of Growth Deals to provide funds to LEPs, with plans for a first instalment to invest at least £12 billion in local economies. This includes all Local Growth Fund investments.

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