Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 'D' - The Henry Bolingbroke Room, County Hall, Preston. View directions

Contact: Holly Tween  Tel: 01772 530354 Email:  Andy.milroy@lancashire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.  Apologies for absence were presented from Tim Webber with Vladimir Pejcinovic attending in his place, Frank McKenna with Antony Camm attending in his place and Gillian Bardin.

2.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

None

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2017 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  The minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2017 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

The Chairman sought feedback from the LEP Business Support Management Board on recent developments with Northern Rail, he agreed to feed these comments back via the Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

5.

Presentation on Productivity Study

Presentation by Val Moon and Professor Susan Smith - UCLAN

Minutes:

Val Moon and Professor Susan Smith (both University of Central Lancashire) gave a presentation containing the results of a Productivity Study undertaken.

 

It was noted that in terms of overall productivity in Lancashire a calculation measuring Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour measured as a percentage relative to UK and the top 10 and lowest 10 scoring regions were presented.

 

Inner London – East scored over 140 GVA where as Lancashire scored slightly over 80 GVA.

 

It was noted that business in Lancashire had been consulted and requested to complete surveys.  From this it was concluded that:

 

·  Companies in Lancashire may be overestimating their productivity, some do not regard it as a managerial priority, and not many measure it.

·  The notion that workplace flexibility could be used to improve productivity was not being embraced by a significant proportion of businesses.

·  Investment in training and skills compared to the previous year was only seen in around a quarter of the businesses responding and only around a fifth had invested in research and development.

·  Most of the business leaders in the research described themselves as “good” but fewer than half described themselves as ambitious and yet it has been found that these descriptions can be relevant to business productivity.

·  To the extent that growth of businesses can be correlated to growth in number of employees, there is only a core of growing businesses in the region. However, there is ambition and intent amongst SMEs to achieve growth and it seems that SMEs are most interested in differentiation and innovation.

·  There is good evidence to link stronger productivity in SMEs to their degree of internationalisation.  However, the majority of SMEs surveyed for this work do not export.

·  There is ambition and intent amongst SMEs to achieve growth and it seems that SMEs are most interested in new markets, training and innovation.

·  The most common suggestion as a potential source of help with reducing obstacles to productivity was the LEP/local authorities.

 

In terms of recommendations to improve productivity, the board noted the following:

 

·  To devise and deliver a campaign to educate SMEs about productivity and its importance.

·  Flexible working practices are well documented as potentially influential in the improvement of productivity. More information and education about the potential benefits of flexible working should be made available and conveyed to SMEs in Lancashire.

·  To devise policy and training that will encourage more business leaders to invest in skills and training for their workforce and research and development for their business.

·  It is recommended to increase training, research and development and leadership skills amongst businesses in Lancashire.  Given what is known regarding the contributions to productivity by the latter, this is likely to improve productivity.

·  To share expertise in the areas of differentiation and innovation.

·  The agenda of exporting and internationalisation should be brought even further to the fore amongst SMEs in Lancashire.

·  To share expertise in the areas of accessing new markets, training and innovation.

·  Services such as the BOOST business gateway and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Growth Hub Annual Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andy Walker, Head of Service Business Growth, Lancashire County Council, presented a report (circulated) regarding the Growth Hub containing an Annual Report for 2017/18.

 

It was highlighted that it is now a formal condition of BEIS support to the individual Growth Hubs that an Annual Report is presented via the Growth Hub governance structure to the LEP for approval.  The report detailed the overall performance and any issues in delivery of the Growth Hub.

 

It was noted that over the period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 some 2921 enquiries were handled by the Boost Gateway, of which 456 were dealt with at source, 2365 enquiries resulted in referrals of which 2034 were referred to Boost projects and 592 were referred to other business support organisations.

 

Overall Boost is performing well, with the majority of targets being achieved or just slightly below expectation, however there have been areas of concern.  The activity of C2 grants (Growth Vouchers) has consistently fallen behind targets despite intensive support and guidance from Lancashire County Council. This has a knock on effect on the C1 targets (C2 is a subset of C1) and on C6 that represents the private sector contribution to match the Growth Vouchers.

 

The delivery contractor has indicated that they will not be able to achieve the lifetime target (300) for Growth Vouchers (2016-18) and therefore a revised target of 168 has been agreed together with a reduced C6 target.  The resulting deficit of 132 C1 outputs has been resolved in discussions with two of the other Boost delivery organisations who have agreed to increase their performance to make up this shortfall by the end of 2018.

 

Resolved:  The Business Support Management Board considered the detail of the report and recommended that the LEP Board endorses the annual report at its next meeting on 26th June 2018.

7.

Forward Plan

Verbal update.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Business Support Management Board was scheduled for 19th October 2018.  It was agreed that the following items should be considered at the October 2018 meeting:

 

·  Programme of Key Decisions and Procurement Process

·  Half Year report on Growth Hub.

·  Industrial Strategy Report

·  Productivity / Digital Skills.

8.

Reporting to Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Board

Minutes:

It was noted that the Growth Hub Annual Report would be referred to the LEP Board for approval.

9.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The Board discussed the role of SME Champion.  It was noted that the LEP was currently recruiting three new LEP Directors with the intention that one would become the SME Champion, this should be in place by the time of the next Board meeting.

10.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Business Support Management Board is scheduled to be held at 10:30am on 19th October  2018 in Committee Room 'B' - The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Business Support Management Board was scheduled to be held at 10:30am, on 19th October 2018 in Committee Room 'B' - The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston

11.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the

Local Government Act 1972, it considers that the public should be excluded

from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on

the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as

defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local

Government Act 1972 as indicated against the heading to the item.

Minutes:

Resolved: The Business Support Management Board considered that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as indicated against the heading to the item.

 

12.

Overview of Publicly Funded Business Support in Lancashire

Minutes:

(Exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972. It was considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interests in disclosing the information.)

 

Andy Walker presented a report (circulated) regarding publicly funded business support in Lancashire.  The report presented information regarding business support activity taking place locally.

 

Resolved:  The Business Support Management Board noted the report.

 

 

13.

Design and Commissioning of Boost 3

Minutes:

(Exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972. It was considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interests in disclosing the information.)

 

Andy Walker presented a report (circulated) regarding design and commissioning of Boost 3.  The report presented contained details of the bidding process to develop Boost over the period 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2021.

 

Resolved:  The Business Support Management Board noted the report and supported the outline structure for commissioning.