Blogs - 07 June 2013

Blog: David Ralph – We will meet challenge to turn ambition into reality

David Ralph

David Ralph, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive

Within a matter of months, we will make our competitive case to Government for devolving tens of millions National and EU funds to the LEP area that will determine how we turn our ambition into reality. 

But I have no doubt we can meet the challenge and prove that devolving power from Whitehall is the best way forward when it comes to accelerating growth in the local economy. We know our patch and by bringing together Business, HE/FE and local Government together we can make most difference. 

For us, that is Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and we feel passionately it is the UK’s most inspirational postcode. Why wouldn’t you want to live here, work here, visit here, go to University here? 

What attracted me to the role was the opportunity to deliver targeted and effective action throughout the area, one that has been hit hard by the recession, both in its business base and communities. 

However, the area has shown real resilience, has many fantastic quality companies, and educational institutions and has huge opportunities to lead itself out of a flat economy and into a position of positive, economic output. 

A Local Enterprise Partnership has a key role in trying to make that happen. We have a strong board, which features key figures from local authorities and businesses and it can really tackle some of the long-standing challenges such as access to finance and infrastructure. 

Already we have seen many successes – the start of work to widen the A453, the planned electrification of the Midland Mainline. Those are huge to the area and there can be many more. 

Following Lord Heseltine’s recently published ‘No Stone Unturned’, a Government report which proposes a major shake-up to the way billions of pounds of money for economic development will be spent, it is an exciting time. 

D2N2 will have a much greater say in how money is spent and what support business gets  by devolving responsibilities, funding and decision-making powers away from Whitehall and giving local business leaders, local authorities and other partner organisations more say in to deciding the best ways of promoting local economic growth.

David Ralph, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive

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