LEP Chair urges parties to retain focus on Industrial Strategy

Published 24th April 2017 at 10:14am

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region’s public-private Local Enterprise Partnership, today urged the politicians of all parties not to lose sight of business views on a national Industrial Strategy as the snap General Election looms.

He said: “The Sheffield City Region (SCR) is closely connected to thousands of businesses across the region, both UK and foreign owned.

“We want to make sure our views on Industrial Strategy do not get lost in the helter skelter of the election period.

“We have built up a thoughtful and far-reaching response to the consultative Green Paper on the strategy because it isn’t just a lengthy bureaucratic document to be filed away largely unread for the next decade.

“It should be a ‘roadmap’ guiding the way Government tackles long-term challenges to the UK economy, increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country. It also outlines how it will help specific industries grow more evenly across the UK  – and that will affect every area of this region’s economy.”

The SCR is the economic body established to drive growth and help create jobs across the region, an area which with its strong advanced manufacturing, rail engineering and logistics specialisations allied to a world-leading research base is once again thriving.

In the six years since the SCR was founded, figures show that its support has helped to:

  • Unlock 15,900 jobs including 2,700 apprenticeships, by targeting funding where it will achieve most impact
  • See 37,700 jobs created across the SCR
  • Bring in almost £2billion of foreign investment
  • Bring in more than £315million of private sector investment
  • Train or support 4,400 learners

Sir Nigel added: “Broadly speaking, the SCR welcomes the focus on developing an Industrial Strategy. But, and it’s a big but, we believe that places with a track record of success such as ours should take a major lead in shaping and delivering that strategy”.

“We want to ensure that local regions can play a larger part in delivery. And importantly we want to see increased devolution of powers and funding at the heart of the strategy”.

“We want to scale this up and deliver even better outcomes”.

“The SCR has a thriving manufacturing and engineering base and nationally significant assets on which the Industrial Strategy can build. For the first time in a generation employment has grown in these sectors in the City Region, creating high value jobs for the local economy”.

“We will work with any new Government to maximise growth and productivity for SCR and UK plc. And we will work hard to ensure this region maximises the benefits of a coherent approach to industry. General Elections are important – but industrial strategy is fundamental.”

To view the Sheffield City Region’s response to the Government’s consultation document click here SCR Industrial Strategy Green Paper Response.

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