Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Decision Maker: External Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
The Chair welcomed Martin Kelly, Director of Economic Development, to the meeting.
A presentation was delivered to the Committee on the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), detailing the Lancashire Offer, the LEP's priorities and assurance framework and information on the City Deal. A copy of the presentation is set out in the minutes.
Concerns were expressed around investment opportunities in West Lancashire given its proximity to the Liverpool City Region. It was recognised that during the early years, the LEP focussed on where the scale of opportunity was greatest for investment and how well planned those opportunities were. Edgehill University was chosen as a key economic driver in West Lancashire for its technological innovation and the wider benefits it could provide beyond the district. Other investment projects included: Skelmersdale Town Centre and Railway Link; working with West Lancashire Borough Council on the development of motorway/highway infrastructure to support the private sector; as well as the submission of a housing infrastructure bid.
A question was asked on whether there were any plans to assist the development of the Warton Aviation Enterprise Zone. It was reported that this Enterprise Zone was wholly owned by BAE Systems and whilst the LEP was currently holding them to account on the development of that Zone, it was recognised that a lot of work had gone into the development of the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone. It was hoped that the recent announcement of potential job losses in the area might force them to rethink the use of this asset and to retain it as an employment location. The Committee was informed that the LEP was hoping to broaden all of the County's Enterprise Zones and economic sectors to promote the strengths of what they brought in terms of skillsets but over time reduce the dependency in one sector (defence).
Regarding the Growing Places Investment Fund, Members enquired if there would be any investment from the LEP for social housing across Lancashire. It was reported that the LEP was not a social housing provider. However, the LEP had invested in one project through the proposition of a social housing provider in the Morecambe area to convert a row of run down terraced properties into affordable housing. It was recognised that Local Authorities
In terms of the European Strategic Investment Funding (ESIF), the Committee was informed that a number of ESIF funding calls were underway and planned. There were 29 live projects at the moment with delivery aimed at supporting businesses to align with key local priorities. The Committee was reassured that Brexit would not affect these projects and funding would not be removed.
i. The report be noted; and
ii. Representatives from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership be invited to attend a future meeting.
Date of decision: 10/10/2017
Decided at meeting: 10/10/2017 - External Scrutiny Committee