LEPs must be ‘incentivised’
While Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) better reflect local business geography than the Regional Development Agencies they replaced, some issues require a more strategic approach than is offered by localism alone, it added.
“It is possible, if the government avoids a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to regional growth across the UK, and instead concentrates on boosting the private sector wherever pockets of potential are found in towns and cities within regions,” said John Cridland, CBI Director-General.
“Where there are advantages to local policymaking, the message from businesses to the government is ‘be bolder’. Businesses want to see LEPs given statutory status, and incentivised to work together on strategic issues such as transport policy, foreign investment, economic analysis, innovation, and industrial policy. Not doing so risks fragmenting the existing business and economic landscape.”
The report entitled The UK’s growth landscape – Harnessing private sector potential across the country also called for expansion of the geographic footprints of Enterprise Zones and increases in value, as well as stock, in the Business Rate Retention Scheme.