Report recommends that better working relationships between LEPs and Growth Hubs and NEN members are developed and sustained In 2014 National Enterprise Network (NEN) carried out a first review of the relationship between our members and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). A report of these findings was published in January 2015. Since then, the Growth Hub […]
Report recommends that better working relationships between LEPs and Growth Hubs and NEN members are developed and sustained
In 2014 National Enterprise Network (NEN) carried out a first review of the relationship between our members and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). A report of these findings was published in January 2015. Since then, the Growth Hub network has been established and all Growth Hubs now have a web presence to sit alongside their other service offers. Following the completion of the Growth Hub network of local support, we undertook another review to update our earlier work, and to establish the current reality in enterprise support.
The context in which the LEPs operate is not static. Since our last review, there has been a change in government from the former Coalition Government to a Conservative administration. There’s of course been a subsequent change in Prime Minister and ministerial team following the referendum result. The first of these changes led to a more austere climate for enterprise support; with the 2015 Autumn Statement removing large parts of the Business Growth Service and a speeding up of the devolution agenda. The new administration has changed the scope and emphasis of the business department and the exact impact on enterprise support remains unclear.
One of the key findings of the March 2016 National Audit Office Report on LEPs to DCLG was: “The English devolution landscape is changing considerably and it is not yet clear how LEPs fit into it.” This lack of clarity remains, post ‘Brexit”.
The scope of our new review
The scope of this review is narrower than the one undertaken in 2014. Although the announcement to establish the LEPs was made in 2010, shortly after the Coalition Government had been agreed, the roles of LEPs were still developing and the review took a formative approach. Whilst their roles are still evolving, the LEPs are more mature and the Growth Hub network is complete. For that reason, this review focuses on the relationships between our members and the LEPs and Growth Hubs and their roles in local enterprise development.
The report looks in depth at the relationships held between NEN members and LEPs, and a summary of the main changes since the 2014 survey are provided. A detailed review of Growth Hubs is included alongside sharing details of the views of the membership on their work. Lastly a conclusion is provided, which includes our recommendations of how LEPs and Growth Hubs can work collaboratively with NEN members. Although we recognise that some areas may have different strategic focuses, we believe that all Growth Hubs should be able to offer or signpost to locally delivered pre start support. We recommend that greater consideration is given to more and better engagement with local enterprise support providers. Our members’ combination of local commitment and success in delivery of new-start support services makes it more important than ever for effective working relationships to be developed and sustained.