Marches LEP continues to deliver for region
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership continued to deliver real results for the region throughout 2022 – despite a challenging background.
And the LEP – and its business support arm The Marches Growth Hub – says it will work alongside the whole business community throughout 2023 to help shape future investment plans for the region.
The LEP has now invested more than £196million across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin as it delivers on a range of programmes from skills to energy as well as offering a comprehensive business support service.
Both the LEP and the growth hub were working against the backdrop of a Government review into their future, as well as a year of political and economic turmoil nationally.
Despite this, the partnership celebrated the reopening of the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings after a £28million eight-year restoration and saw Newport’s innovative Ni.PARK welcome its first businesses.
Other highlights included:
• £14million of investment into six key projects to improve town centres, tackle fuel poverty, boost the environment and help develop a new world-leading engineering campus for NMITE in Herefordshire through the Getting Building Fund.
• More than 15,000 businesses supported through the Marches Growth Hub.
• A new £4million energy fund to help release capacity onto the energy grid, support businesses to reduce their energy use and increase green skills, including the launch of the £1.5million Marches Energy Grant to help businesses cut energy costs and emissions.
• 62 schools and colleges supported by the Marches Careers Hub, attracting 15 new Enterprise Advisers.
The pioneering Telford Land Deal – a partnership between the LEP, Homes England and Telford & Wrekin Council – continued to create new opportunities across the borough and has now delivered gross land sales of £41.9million, supporting the creation of 1,926 new jobs and 1,284 new homes, over the past seven years.
The Mile End roundabout in Oswestry opened as part of a £17.7million project supported by £5.7million of LEP investment to ease congestion, improve the gateway to the town and open up commercial land for 655 homes and the development of Oswestry Innovation Park, creating 128 new jobs.
Chief executive Rachel Laver said: “These results speak for themselves. Despite the challenges, the LEP has delivered real success for Shropshire and the wider region over the last 12 months – and will continue to do so over the next year.
“Working with our partners, we will continue to bring added value to the region, representing the views of business regionally and nationally and working to ensure the whole of Shropshire has the economy, skills and business support it needs to build a sustainable, prosperous future.
“We are committed to working with – and for – our entire business community and would welcome the chance to work with any business groups in the region to ensure their voice is being heard.”
The LEP brings together the business community, the public sector and academia to drive economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The Marches Growth Hub is delivered by the three local authorities across the region and last year helped more than 800 people start a new business.