By Claire West

Minister for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk today hosted a networking event with representatives of local enterprise partnerships to acknowledge the progress made so far and discuss the way ahead for the new partnerships.

Attendees included representatives from recently formed partnerships; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Department for Communities and Local Government; Department for Work and Pensions; Department of Energy and Climate Change; Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs; and Department for Transport.

The groups discussed the recent White Paper on Local Growth and how local enterprise partnerships can get started on delivering their priorities for local economic development. They also discussed the relationship between Government and the partnerships going forward.

Speaking after the meeting, Mark Prisk said:

“It’s crucial that partnerships and potential partnerships are given opportunities to speak to the Government about the future and how the new local support system will work.

“A lot of hard work has gone in to the creation of the partnerships and I want to acknowledge everybody’s contribution so far. I was encouraged by the conversations taking place today between local councillors, business leaders and the Government about what the future will look like.

“It is important that this kind of work continues to make sure that the people who will be responsible for delivering our structural reforms are given the support they need to realise their vision for a strong economic future.“

Since the first 24 successful local enterprise partnerships were announced, there has been interest from the partnerships, BIS and other Government departments in setting up meetings to talk and work with each other. Today’s event is likely to be the first in a series, as the first partnerships begin establishing their board