Thumbs up for Peterborough/Cambridge enterprise alliance

THE Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GC GP LEP) bid has been given the green light to proceed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Local Enterprise Partnerships have been created by BIS and the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to bring businesses and the public sector together to help tackle issues such as local transport and infrastructure, economic development, employment, planning and housing, enterprise and supporting business start-ups.

The GC GP LEP bid was one of only a handful of bids to be approved by BIS and CLG ministers.

Leaders from local businesses, local authorities, universities and social enterprises submitted the LEP proposal to Government in September this year, based on the complementary functional economic areas of Peterborough and Cambridge, together with Rutland, West Norfolk and King’s Lynn, alongside neighbouring market towns and communities.

The mission of the GC GP LEP is to “lead our area’s growth to 100,000 significant businesses and create 160,000 new jobs by 2025 in an internationally renowned low carbon, knowledge-based economy”. This clear ambition for our growing area requires a step change in business success, unlocking the ability of the private sector to create jobs, wealth and offset the impact of public sector job losses.

The specific details of the structure and functions of the GC GP LEP will now be worked up by a private and public sector partnership group, in conjunction with officials from BIS and CLG, over the coming weeks.

Chair of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership Project Board, John Bridge (left), commented: “Today’s news is clearly a very positive step as we collectively strive towards growth for our economic area. It means that we are in a position to truly drive our vision forward, and for local authorities, higher education, and business to continue to work together to maximise the opportunities that this partnership will bring.”

Peterborough City Council Leader Councillor Marco Cereste (right) welcomed today’s decision. He said: “This is excellent news. This agreement means that Peterborough, Cambridge and our other partners can capitalise on our complementary strengths to promote business and jobs growth. Peterborough’s strong environmental business sector and our commitment to substantial and sustainable growth offer attractive prospects for inward investors and provide a solid foundation for continuing economic success.”

The GC GP LEP area covers the local authority boundaries of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough City, Rutland, Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire Districts, and extends to cover the real economic geography extends into part of North Hertfordshire, Uttlesford, St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath, South Holland and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. In total, this area is home to 1.3 million people, around 700,000 jobs and 60,000 enterprises that generate approximately £30 billion per year.

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