Engagement with businesses to establish priorities is now top of the agenda for the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) following the announcement of funding from Government.
The LEP, which works across the north Hampshire and north west Surrey area, has been successful in its bid for funding from the BIS LEP Capacity Fund. It will now use the £9,000 gained to undertake surveys to establish and understand the barriers to growth for businesses within the area.
These results will be used alongside feedback received from businesses at the Enterprise M3 launch conference in April and views from the action groups currently being set up under emerging themes for the LEP to help determine its priorities. These themes include:
• Finance, innovation, business support
• Infrastructure (transport, strategic planning and housing)
• Land and property
• Leisure, tourism, place shaping, inward investment
• Rural economy and broadband
• Skills and employability
• Sector specific - for example aerospace
The Government funding success kick starts a busy few months for the newly formed LEP. Applications to sit on the Enterprise M3 board have flooded in and an announcement is expected in June on which business representatives and public and third sector representatives will join the Chair Geoff French and Vice Chair John Copley on the board.
Once formed one of the first jobs for the board will be to determine the LEP’s priorities based on the intelligence received through the area wide surveys, feedback from the launch conference and contributions from the action groups.
Enterprise M3 Chair Geoff French said: “I am very pleased that our application to the BIS LEP Capacity Fund has been successful. This funding will enable us to carry out surveys to establish and understand the barriers to growth for businesses within the Enterprise M3 area. We have already carried out consultation through our successful launch event in April and are in the process of contacting everyone who has expressed an interest in contributing to the LEP for their views. This funding will enable us to get real business engagement in the LEP and ensure the priorities we determine are the right ones for the area.”
Enterprise M3 covers the areas of Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Hart, New Forest, Rushmoor, Test Valley and Winchester in Hampshire and Guildford, Surrey Heath, Waverley and Woking in Surrey, working across traditional boundaries to make a real difference to the people who live and work in the area.
This new style partnership brings together major companies, other businesses and business representatives with the local councils, universities, colleges and other public services making decisions that affect the area’s economy.