Dan Peters 07 September 2020

LEPs need capacity boost to improve delivery, research finds

Local enterprise partnerships (LEP) would be better at delivering large-scale capital projects if they had more capacity, independent research for the Government has found.

The report for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that the average annual budget reported by LEPs was £1.6m.

Four out of 39 LEPs told researchers their capacity and capabilities were ‘insufficient in relation to the setting of strategy, developing and delivering programmes, and ensuring robust governance,’ with one saying they were having to ‘beg, borrow and steal because we don’t have sufficient capacities’.

Two out of five LEPs said they did not have the confidence to offer the terms and conditions necessary to recruit high quality staff.

The report read: ‘Several LEPs talked about, either at the focus groups or via the census, how they struggled to recruit more experienced staff due to the inability to offer terms and conditions that matched what was available from other employers locally.’

Researchers also recommended that ‘increased expectations be made of LEPs evaluation and validation practices of the projects they deliver, and of themselves’.

Chair of the LEP Network, Mark Bretton, said: ‘As business-led LEPs we do what needs to be done, and we adapt our capability and capacity to environments at rapid pace – a vital part of building the local economic recovery we all need.’

For more on this story, visit The MJ (£).

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