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Bid deadline today for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s)

6 September 2010

Haleys are taking a special interest in todays bid deadline for the proposed LEP's that are due to replace Labour's eight regional development agencies (RDA's) outside London by 2012.

The government see the role of LEP's as crucial in rebalancing the economy and spreading prosperity.

Fears are growing however, that the new LEP's will be a patchwork of 'council-dominated talk-shops', as nearly 50 bids to set up the economic development bodies around England are lodged.

It would appear that many proposed partnerships will be too small to be effective and many bids have conflicting interests. For instance Peel Holdings, a property group, have launched a bid for an 'Atlantic Gateway LEP' covering Liverpool, Manchester and surrounding districts, where it has infrastructure projects as part of a 50bn project. However, that conflicts with bids by Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire/ Warrington. In Lancashire bid proposals have been submitted by Lancs County Council, Blackpool/Fylde Coast and Pennine Lancashire - the last competing with the county for several districts.

Haleys Steph Greasley, a member of the Institute of Directors , commented "each proposed LEP should only go ahead if it has a critical mass in terms of size and is supported by the vast majority of business bodies based locally, and focuses on transport, infrastrucutre and planning development issues".

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