Collaboration is key

Published 8th June 2012 at 11:00am

Last week, I had the privilege to meet the Duke of York as he officially opened the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Together with a number of leading business people and academics from across the City Region, we had a livley debate on how we will meet the City Region’s future education, training and skills needs. His own personal views were particularly relevant to the LEP as they are aligned with what we are currently asking Government Ministers to support in our City Deals negotiations.

Later in the week, I had the opportunity to meet with Business Secretary Vince Cable, who was very impressed by the progress of our Enterprise Zone site at Markham Vale. We are working closely with D2N2 LEP (the LEP which represents Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire) to make the site an attractive package for major investment. Markham Vale is an excellent example of what can be achieved when LEPs work together.

I believe that closer LEP collaboration is key to our success, a view which I expressed last week when I joined other Yorkshire-based LEP Chairmen representing Leeds, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and the Humber. This was the first meeting of Chairmen from all four Yorkshire LEPs, and we discussed how closer relationships will help us to achieve our City Regions’ economic goals.

At the event, Leeds LEP Chairman Neil McLean and I talked about the various ways in the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions are already working together. Our collaborative projects include an initiative to attract healthcare investments from the USA. Next week, on June 13 and 14, a joint Sheffield-Leeds LEP delegation of private sector professionals will pitch for business at the 8th Annual Orthopaedic Manufacturing and Technology Exposition and Conference (OMTEC) in Chicago. This event has been made possible, largely because of the connections made through our Healthcare Sector Group Chairman, Neil Garner.

It is excellent to see how our LEP Sector Groups are encouraging more collaboration locally and it seems clear that getting businesses to work together through our sector groups has an important role in our economic growth. On Tuesday 12 June, the Low Carbon Sector Group, led by Chairman Nick Tovey, will bring local businesses together to find ways to collaborate and create new products and services to become greener and more energy efficient.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my first Chairman’s Blog and I look forward to updating you again very soon on the LEP’s continued progress.

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