New phase for Local Enterprise Partnership

Following the announcement that over £100 million has now been secured in Growth Deals for Gloucestershire, GFirst LEP has announced plans to revamp its Business Groups to continue in its mission to grow the economy of Gloucestershire.

The groups will be reformatted to include greater influence from local partners, whilst still strategically led by the LEP, to ensure that the county is able to deliver existing funding and be ready to bid for new funds that become available.

Each group will have support from one of the Board of Directors, and also be supported by one of the LEP’s project partners.

David Owen, Chief Executive, said: “We’ve been operating as the LEP for six years and so the time was right to review our practices and make sure we’re working effectively and with the right partners.  The changes to the groups will enable the LEP to retain a tight focus on the key sectors for the county, whilst also strengthening ties with partners including South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and the Royal Agricultural University.”

Chris Mears is Relationship Director at Santander, and chairs the Banking and Finance Business Group. He said: “The groups have been hugely successful in terms of getting businesses from the same sector in a room to discuss the practical actions we can take to support the work of the LEP and local businesses in meeting the requirements of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). ”

Ian Mean, Director of Business West for Gloucestershire said: "The government's ambition for LEPs was that they should be business led, and GFirst LEP has remained true to this concept building strong foundations with local businesses.

"This has meant that its strategies and investments have been pragmatic, and positive interventions in the county's enterprise and a big boost for the Gloucestershire economy."

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