Sarah Windrum, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Chair

The chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership believes it has a critical role to play in shaping and delivering the area’s economic future.

LEPs should be central to the delivery of the economic recovery and levelling up. For ten years, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been driving forward inclusive economic growth across the country. They have harnessed the energy and expertise of leaders from 2,000 businesses, 180 local authorities and 250 Higher/Further Education organisations.

In the Midlands, LEPs have delivered £4.1 billion of Government investment, unlocking a further £11.1 billion of match funding from private, public and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VSCE) partners. From City Deals to Local Growth Deals, trade and investment to skills training and business support, LEPs have put local people and local places at the heart of its work.

LEPs’ flexible and agile response to Covid-19, the EU Exit and future skills challenges has been made possible thanks to the unique way the LEPs have brought public, private, and academic sectors together to create joined-up solutions.

Together, the Midlands LEPs have driven forwards locally informed and sustainable investments to create over 75,000 jobs so far and are on target to create over 200,000, as they collectively support the Covid-19 recovery and develop opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and has a £238 billion economy, generating over 12 per cent of the UK’s Gross Value Added. Building on the strengths of the LEPs’ partnerships and its Growth Hubs, Midlands LEPs have supported over 135,000 businesses to enable them to grow and prosper

Through LEPs’ locally-driven insight and collaborative approach with schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, and career professionals, they have supported over 40,000 learners to ensure the regions can respond to the future skills needs and that everyone has access to opportunities, no matter what their background.

As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, innovation is a defining characteristic of the Midlands economy, and collectively the LEPs have invested over £100 million in research and development.

The Midlands LEPs have worked with universities and businesses to develop innovative products and services to drive international trade, growth and productivity.

With the government’s ambition to evolve the way it supports local growth and levelling up for the long term, LEPs have a critical role to play by building on their legacy to ensure they collectively maintain its focus on the region’s prosperity and drive forwards the government’s ambitions of a green recovery through improved productivity, skills development and business support for everyone.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has brought £191 million of investment to the area which has been match-funded by £407.4 million since 2011.

This has led to the creation of 17,504 jobs and the CWLEP is on target to deliver a further 13,858 jobs.

Alongside the CWLEP Growth Hub, 2,285 learners have been supported with an additional 3,942 people expected to be helped.

Over the last decade, a total of 5,464 businesses have been helped by the CWLEP and CWLEP Growth Hub and they are on target to support a further 4,065 businesses.

The CWLEP Growth Hub has dealt with just under 6,000 businesses in the last two years, has nearly 3,000 registered businesses on FinditinCW which has promoted over £20 billion of tender opportunities and has had 28,000 site visits since launching CW Employment Solutions.

Sarah Windrum, Chair of the CWLEP, said: “The figures demonstrate the massive impact the CWLEP has had in the last ten years in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“We have driven investments across the region to enable the creation of jobs, apprenticeships and learning opportunities as well as supporting businesses to grow and innovate, whether they are an SME or global company.

“We have assisted businesses and learners through the intensive day-to-day operations of the CWLEP and the CWLEP Growth Hub – which continues to play a pivotal role among Growth Hubs in the region – while Coventry & Warwickshire Champions has had a vital role in promoting the area to highlight our innovation.

“All this has led to attracting inward investment and building world-leading facilities such as the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre as we cement our reputation for being pioneers in battery technology, automotive and manufacturing excellence.

“Before Covid, we were among the top three best performing LEPs in England and the best in terms of economic growth.

“Key to our success has been the fantastic private-public partnerships we have built throughout Coventry and Warwickshire and these will be vital in implementing our Strategic Reset Framework as we create the conditions for enterprise and innovation to flourish and play our part in delivering the nation’s net-zero target.

“The CWLEP has a critical role to play in delivering our future ambitions and resetting our local growth trajectory to continue our pro-active future and drive the economy forward in all parts of Coventry and Warwickshire.”