26 April 2013

million+ welcomes BIS report recommendations on Local Enterprise Partnerships

The university think-tank million+ has welcomed a report from the House of Commons BIS Select Committee which recommends that the Government should provide Local Enterprise Partnerships with a 5 year guarantee of core funding from 2015 to help them make key investment decisions. Currently the LEPs only have funds allocated for the next two years. Universities are on the boards of 35 of the 39 LEPs which were established in England by the Government following the decision to abolish the Regional Development Agencies.

Professor Michael Gunn, Chair of the university think-tank million+ and Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University, said 'I warmly welcome the recommendations of MPs. It would add real value to the work of LEPs to have a guarantee of core funding for 5 years. This would provide a much stronger base on which to make strategic investment decisions to underpin regional growth.’

‘Universities are key players in this agenda both in terms of skills, graduate supply and entrepreneurship. These are key factors in kick-starting growth. It would also be hugely advantageous to have a Minister in Government responsible for LEPs located in BIS. This would reflect and promote the collaborative partnerships which have been developed at local level between business, local authorities, universities and colleges.'

ENDS

Notes to editors:
1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk.
2. For an interview with Professor Michael Gunn please contact Maria Scrivens, Press Manager, University of Staffordshire on 01782 294375.
3. The BIS Select Committee’s 9th Report – Local Enterprise Partnerships can be found here