Venue: Meeting Room G3/4, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT
Contact: Kieran Robinson 01952 382061
Declarations of Interest
13th January 2020 (attached) and 20th January 2020 (to follow)
RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
To receive the report of the Marches LEP, presented by Gill Hamer, Kathryn Jones, and Ennis Vingoe.
The Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services and the Economy and Kathrine Kynaston (the Programme Executive Lead) will be in attendance.
Gill Hamer (Chief Executive) and Kathryn Jones (Partnership Manager) from the Marches LEP were invited by the Chair to make their presentation. The presentation gave an overview of the work that the LEP did, an outline of successful projects they had been involved in, and an update on ongoing projects. Members were informed of the LEPs structure and funding streams before receiving information about key projects including Hereford’s NMiTE, Superfast Telford, and the NI-Park.
Looking at the next funding round, Members were informed that the LEP was still waiting to receive formal feedback from central government on the ‘Local Industrial Strategy’ (LIS) but that initial signs were positive. The LIS was said to focus on emphasising the local distinctiveness of Shropshire and its towns, making the case for investment from central government in the areas specific expertise. The Strategy made the link between the region’s educational institutions and economic specialisation, with examples being Harper Adams University’s links to the well-established agri-food and agri-tech industry in the Telford & Wrekin area and the links between the University of Wolverhampton’s work in Hereford and the burgeoning cyber-security sector there. Such links and specialisation, the LEP believed, had made a strong case for funding moving forward.
Through its close working relationship with officers from the three local authorities that constitute the Marches LEP, the LEP had developed an updated strategic economic plan. This updated plan took stock of recent investment and achievements but recognised the region’s ongoing challenges – an ageing population (though Telford bucked the trend) and lower productivity and skill level than the national average – and sought to address them.
Members asked a number of questions as follows:-
Was it hopeful that the bid to secure funding for the Station Quarter development would be successful?
This was just one of a number of bids that Telford had made that were under consideration, this one had just recently become public. The result of the bid would not be known for another month or so. Members were informed that the bids that were under consideration were not wholly commercial or just town centre focussed and would also include residential and Borough Town redevelopment.
The LEPs commitment to quality jobs and training was welcomed. However, there was no mention in the documents provided about cooperative development or encouraging cooperatives. Did the LEP offer help to cooperatives?
The LEP did offer help and support to cooperatives as a part of the work of its third sector and voluntary organisations section. European funding that had supported third sector initiatives also offered support to business start-up opportunities such as setting up a cooperative or social enterprise. The LEP also provided information for those setting up businesses along these models through the Growth Hub. There had also been an event in support of cooperatives in Shrewsbury in October. The cooperative model was one that the LEP supported and there would be support for those interested in setting them up.
Would any LEP funding be used ... view the full minutes text for item BFSC3
Members had received a report setting out the suggestions for the work programme. The Chair asked Members to send any comments or further suggestions to the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officers.
Cllrs A R H England, N A M England, and K S Sahota left the meeting at this point. Due to the lack of a quorum, the meeting was brought to a close.