By Max Clarke

Business Minister Mark Prisk has today met with the Oxfordshire local enterprise partnership to discuss the vital role they will play in boosting local growth.

The partnership is now completely formed, after ministers approved the partnership’s board consisting of local business people, academics and civic leaders.

The Oxfordshire partnership is the fifth partnership, out of the total of 31 approved, to appoint its board.

Mark Prisk said:

“Local enterprise partnerships will be key to enabling local communities to thrive and will play a very significant role in boosting growth. The Oxfordshire partnership is a very good example of a partnership that has got off the ground quickly. It is ready to start work on their priorities, including rebalancing the economy from the public to the private sector, by addressing skills, business support and infrastructure.

“The board members I met today have exceptional local knowledge and we discussed their ideas for the future. I have every confidence that this partnership will be a success.

“We have made clear that we want to hand power over from Whitehall to local people, local businesses and local communities. I believe they are best placed to drive forward change for the better in their areas.”
Dr Martin Dare-Edwards, Chairman of the Oxfordshire local enterprise partnership said:

"We are very excited about this opportunity to meet with Mr Prisk and share with him our passion for the future. In granting our region Local Enterprise status, the Government has shown it recognises the importance of Oxfordshire as one of the UK's most vital centres for economic and business development. This will be an important opportunity to show the Minister what we have already achieved in establishing the partnership, and what we hope to achieve in the future with Government backing."

Mark Prisk met with the local enterprise partnership at the Ashmolean Museum, the first public museum and home to the University of Oxford's world-class collections of art and archaeology.

At the museum the Minister also met Mark Beard, managing director of the construction company Beard who are currently refurbishing the museum's Egyptian Galleries in a £5million project which is due to be completed later this year.

Local enterprise partnerships bring together local business and civic leaders, working to support their local economy. They will operate within a geography that reflects natural economic areas and will provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.