About WLEP

WLEP Nov Conf-55-D FrostThe Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP), one of 38 in England, is responsible for creating and delivering economic growth and jobs in the County. This is achieved through a partnership approach with business, local government, the third sector and higher and further education working together with a common, shared purpose.

The WLEP is responsible for developing and delivering Worcestershire’s 10-year Strategic Economic Plan which was agreed by all partner organisations and submitted to Government in March 2014. The WLEP is working to:

  • Create 25,000 jobs
  • Increase Gross Value Added (GVA) by £2.9bn
  • Contribute towards the delivery of 21,500 new homes by 2025.

A total of £71.71m of Growth Deal funding is available between 2015 and 2021 for agreed economic projects to ensure that Worcestershire is a world class place to work, invest and do business. This includes a range of schemes, for example, to improve: skills, rail connectivity, access to key employment sites and Superfast Broadband. The WLEP is also responsible for a €68m EU programme which contributes to delivery of all parts of the Strategic Economic Plan and provides specific grant funding to support businesses and training with a focus on moving individuals into work.

The WLEP continues to work across the National LEP Network to explore shared best practice and innovations which underpin local-to-national business growth. Worcestershire has established alliances across LEP regions, as well as the Midlands LEPs, to consolidate wider opportunities around the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect for a connected road, rail and air infrastructure network.

For further information about the 38 LEPs, visit the LEP Network website.

Find out more on the Midlands Engine aims to deliver increased productivity and economic growth.

Vision

UWorcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s vision is:

A connected, creative, dynamic economy for all.”

The Worcestershire LEP is working to create 25,000 jobs, increase Gross Value Added (GVA) by £2.9bn and contribute towards the delivery of 21,500 new homes by 2025.

What We Do

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership:

  • Offers strategic leadership and a long term vision in relation to Worcestershire’s economy                              Mark Stansfeld JPEG
  • Portrays the ‘big picture’ in terms of the county’s assets, attractions and opportunities
  • Champions Worcestershire’s economic vision
  • Secures finance, attracts investment and encourages match funding to achieve Worcestershire’s ambitions
  • Acts as the ‘business voice’ of Worcestershire, leading and coordinating Worcestershire’s interests in order to drive forward business growth
  • Shares knowledge, best practice and intelligence within the county and across the national LEP network
  • Signposts to sources of business support and advice
  • Identifies barriers to growth, influences decision making and thereby unlocks growth and jobs
  • Works in partnership with the public sector, taking the lead as advocate and ambassador for Worcestershire’s economic prosperity
  • Coordinates and responds to Government’s consultations on behalf of Worcestershire business, thus influencing Policy decisions
  • Maintains close relationships with key Government Ministers and sponsoring Government Departments in order to advocate on behalf of the county
  • Maintains close relationships with Government Agencies in order to assist LEP initiatives, eg to remove barriers to growth

Promotes Worcestershire as the place in which to invest, work, live and play

Environmental Sustainability

apples 2012Environmental sustainability is of central importance to the WLEP’s ambitions. Sustainable development is being integrated fully into the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and the European Strategic Investment (ESI) Funds Strategy and has been at the heart of partnership working across Worcestershire since the early 1990s. The quality of the natural landscape and built environment is a major asset to the local area and its economy. It enhances the quality of life of people who live and work in Worcestershire and helps to attract and retain residents, visitors, businesses and investors.

The future growth of businesses involved in low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) is a key element. Valued at over £1 billion in terms of sales and growing at some 4.9% per annum, it has been estimated that more than 7,600 jobs and over 400 businesses in the county are directly involved in LCEGS. These activities cross many sectors in particular the advanced manufacturing and agri-food growth sectors.

Worcestershire Local Nature Partnership (WLNP) leads the environmental sustainability networks across Worcestershire. The WLNP is working through its well-formed relationships and a range of private, public and third sector interests to further advance Worcestershire’s natural qualities and built heritage. The WLEP and WLNP have a well-established strategic relationship and collaborate to tackle priorities of mutual advantage through the combination of SEP, ESI Funds Strategy and WLNP Business Plan processes.

The Natural England Local Environment and Economic Development (LEED) Toolkit has provided a systematic and focused lens to examine various environmental assets and develop their potential contributions to local economic growth. The LEED Five Point Framework will guide priority initiatives around:

  • sustainable development, particularly through the ‘game changer’ programme sites and sustainable infrastructure resilient to future flooding;
  • Worcestershire Brand – Tourism and Inward Investment;
  • “Made in Worcestershire” Agri-Food, Agri-Tech, Horticulture and Forestry Sector;
  • Sustainable Training and Skills – sustainable development and sector oriented; and
  • Water and Environmental Impacts.

Better Regulation for Businesses

Strong synergies forged between the WLEP, WLNP, Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) and wider local-to-national regulators are collaborating to demystify regulatory compliance for businesses alongside pro-active business support. With a focus on the Agri-Food Growth Sector and development of new simplified frameworks for innovative environmental technologies, this pioneering approach has been welcomed by the Better Regulation Delivery Office, Business Innovation and Skills Department and the Defra family including Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Natural England.

The WLEP has been allocated £2.2m EAFRD (Rural Development) Programme which is expected to align and reinforce the WLEP ambitions and EUSIF (European Strategy Investment Fund) commitments for many existing and new rural enterprises and make significant contributions to the local and national economy. The WLEP is also sharing the management of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP EAFRD allocation through its Joint Protocol arrangement to benefit North Worcestershire

The Worcestershire LEADER Programme has established a successful track record of delivery in the past and the WLEP is currently working with the Worcestershire Local Action Group (WLAG) to ensure the future LEADER Programme substantially shifts towards delivering the Government’s Growth Agenda, Defra objectives and priorities as well as aligning implementation of the WLEP’s SEP ambitions and objectives. The strong WLEP-WLAG relationship emerging will ensure the future LEADER strategic direction will be fit for purpose and secure effective and sustainable solutions that reinforce local growth objectives. Stakeholder consultations during 2014 will help shape a new LEADER Local Development Strategy in readiness for prompt implementation of the new LEADER Programme in January 2015. The new LAG membership will incorporate business interests and a strategic agreement will formalise future joint WLEP-WLAG working arrangements and programme delivery mechanisms.