A seamless transition for GFirst LEP, "Evolution not extinction"

The roles and responsibilities of GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, will transfer to Gloucestershire County Council from April 2024.

The roles and responsibilities of GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, will transfer to Gloucestershire County Council from April 2024. The deal was confirmed in this morning's County Council Cabinet meeting (November 22nd).

Government confirmed the transfer of Local Enterprise Partnership functions and assets to upper tier local authorities back in August and the transition in Gloucestershire has moved smoothly and at pace.

The Levelling Up White Paper back in February 2022 set out a very clear direction of travel for Local Enterprise Partnerships.  The White Paper made it clear that government anticipated that “all LEPs will eventually fully integrate into local democratic institutions in line with our mission to offer a devolution deal to everywhere that wants one by 2030”.

In preparation for LEP integration into Gloucestershire County Council, the LEP Chief Executive, David Owen, was seconded from 1st November 2022 to the role of Director of Economy and Environment within the County Council.  The majority of the current GFirst LEP staff will TUPE over to the County Council from April 2024.

Ruth Dooley, Chair of GFirst LEP says, “the GFirst LEP Board approved the transition plans at our September Board meeting. I’m really pleased to see all the important initiatives and activities that have been led by GFirst LEP including the Business Groups, Invest in Gloucestershire, Made in Gloucestershire and Growth Hub support will all continue. This is testimony to the hard work of the LEP staff, Board members, Business Group members and indeed all our business stakeholders”. 

Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said, “I have been an LEP Board member since its inception back in December 2014 and have seen first hand the excellent work that the LEP team have achieved. Attracting over £113 million of investment into the county from central Government that has boosted our economy and generated thousands of new jobs is a fantastic legacy. We know not all LEPs are the same, but we have been extremely lucky to have GFirst LEP as a key strategic partner.
Moving forward, we look forward to welcoming the LEP team into the County Council and utilising their experience to help deliver a sustainable growth agenda in partnership with the business community.” 

David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP and Director of Economy and Environment for Gloucestershire County Council added, “I would like to thank all LEP Board members and staff and County Council Cabinet members and staff for their support during these transition discussions. Change often brings innovation and growth, and we’re excited to embrace this new chapter in our journey. With the opportunity for even stronger partnerships getting behind a new economic strategy for the county we will continue to work with businesses to shape a brighter, greener, more prosperous future for Gloucestershire”. 



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