BCCG: A platform for the private sector


Jerry Blackett, chief executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, comments on the successful Birmingham local enterprise partnership (LEP) bid:

"Irrespective of the loss of regional development agencies and the arrival of LEP's, the spending review announcement by the chancellor means there would have been little new money around anyway.

"LEPs provide a platform for the private sector to have significant influence over mainstream budgets which will still, for example, be in the order of £15 billion a year in our LEP area.

"LEPs also allow us to identify a small number of important priorities into which we can all focus our collective efforts and resources. Some of these will not require new money but simply, better co-ordination/joining up of existing efforts/spend.

"We are delighted by today's decision. But this is the beginning and our eyes must remain firmly on the prize of making this LEP the easiest place in Europe in which to set up and run a business.

"The extensive consultation with business means we have a strong foundation. We must now deliver. We will quickly appoint the shadow board and prepare for business elections in the new year.

"We are developing processes and protocols to make this a robust decision-making body which can deliver on our ambitious proposals. We will drive key investment in infrastructure and seek to secure the powers and resources from central government needed to support our LEP."


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