Christine Gaskell, chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), joined 37 other LEP leaders at a meeting with the prime minister on 19th June to map out key areas for cooperation under the UK’s Modern Industrial Strategy.
In the first council of LEPs, held at Downing Street, Christine discussed with Theresa May how the Chehsire & Warrington LEP can help deliver the objectives of the Modern Industrial Strategy and cater for investment in the skills people and businesses needed locally.
The meeting came less than a week after civic and business leaders in Cheshire and Warrington began developing a local industrial strategy for the region – focussing on key challenges and opportunities.
Welcoming the Council of LEP Chairs, PM Theresa May said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships play a vital role in supporting businesses and innovation across England.
“That’s why our Modern Industrial Strategy is clear that they must continue to play a crucial role in our plans to deliver further growth in local economies.”
Mrs May added: “Today’s first meeting of the council marks a milestone in this partnership.
“By working even more closely together, we will continue to maximise our efforts in creating jobs, growth and investment right across the country, delivering long-term, meaningful results for local communities.”
At the meeting LEP leaders stated their commitment to using their strengths and expertise to lead local strategies for economic growth and partner more effectively with local government.
Christine Gaskell commented: “This was a welcome opportunity to meet the prime minister and highlight our current achievements while identifying the key areas in which England’s LEPs can assist the government.
“The public and private sectors in Cheshire and Warrington have already started the process of mapping out how we will go about building on our economic strengths in line with the government’s commitment to ‘place’ based development and growth.
“Each of the LEPs is best placed to advise on what is right for its locality and geography and this meeting was part on an ongoing dialogue with government to ensure that any programme is suitably ambitious and delivers long-term economic growth that works for everyone.”
The Council of Local Enterprise Partnership Chairs was announced in the 2017 Industrial Strategy White Paper as a new forum for LEP business leaders to help shape national policy decisions and ensure closer cooperation with the government on industrial strategy objectives.