Leading accountants were given an insight into the ambitions and activities of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, by its Chairman Peter Richardson.
He was speaking on ‘The inner workings of a Local Enterprise Partnership’ to a breakfast meeting of the Nottingham, Derby and Lincoln branch of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), held at Derby Conference Centre in Derby this morning (March 2).
The ICAEW is a professional body representing more than 100,000 members.
D2N2 is a private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and voluntary organisations, and others which works to promote economic growth and create jobs across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Mr Richardson (pictured) told his audience about the LEP’s founding five years ago and its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for growing the area’s prosperity, backed by Government and European funding. This has brought significant benefits to the area, around the Plan’s five strategic themes of:
- Business support and access to finance – D2N2 has directly supported businesses looking to grow through its provision of ‘bridge’ financing, via its Unlocking Investment for Growth and Growing Places Fund programmes.
- Innovation – D2N2’s € 214million European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) allocation, to be spent in its area over six years, has released funds to specifically enable small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to develop entrepreneurship and innovation in-house.
- Employment and skills – A £300,000 Enterprise Adviser Network project, to match up to 80 schools in the D2N2 area with a volunteer business person, to help foster better employability skills, was recently launched by the LEP and the Government-backed Careers and Enterprise Company.
- Infrastructure for economic growth – On the strength of its SEP, D2N2 was allocated £192m in Local Growth Fund (LGF) monies; which it has used to financially back infrastructure for growth in its area; including roads, education facilities and building projects (for example, £850,000 towards the Castleward development in Derby).
- Housing and regeneration – LGF funding also helps ‘unlock’ areas for commercial and housing development, and is contributing towards Enterprise Zone schemes such as the growth of Infinity Park in Derby.
At today’s event, the D2N2 Chairman also spoke about the LEP’s close working with business partners and local authorities on major initiatives; including its partnership on the current push for a North Midlands Devolution Deal, on bringing the HS2 line to the area, and on efforts to build a ‘Midlands Engine for Growth’ through better co-operation across the region.
Mr Richardson said after today’s event: “The audience was very interested in what D2N2 had done and in its plans for the future. Opportunities to speak to business leaders are important for the LEP, as their input is essential if we are to make our growth ambitions for the area a reality.”
For more information on the ICAEW see its website at www.icaew.com
To find out more about the D2N2 LEP’s work on growing the economy see its website at www.d2n2lep.org
Media wanting further information on the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact D2N2 Communications Officer Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org