Agenda item

GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Update

A report from the Gloucestershire First (GFirst) Local Enterprise Partnership.


The committee to receive an update on the delivery of the Gloucestershire Growth Programme; the EU Funding Programme; preparations for developing a Local Industrial Strategy and the LEP/Local Authority sponsored Inward Investment Programme.


The committee received an update on the delivery of the Gloucestershire Growth Programme; EU Funding Programme; Preparations for developing a Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) and the LEP/Local Authority sponsored Inward Investment Programme.


Responding to questions, Dev Chakraborty, (Deputy Chief Executive at the GFirst LEP), reported good progress, advising the committee that the Gloucestershire Growth Hub Network had recently been commended as the best in the country. The committee received updates on the progress of the Growth Hubs planned for the Stroud, Forest of Dean and Cheltenham areas.


Reporting on the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme (Cyber Park), members were advised that business cases for Phases 1 and 2 of the scheme, (combined value of £11.45 million), were in detailed development and would be presented at the October LEP Board meeting for approval.


Updating the committee on the Inward Investment Project, (a collaborative bid between Gloucestershire County Council and the six District Councils with support from ERDF European Funding), members recalled that the overall value of the project was £1million, (50% coming via ERDF), for the 3 year period from January 2019 to December 2021. The focus of the project was directed towards 4 key sectors; Cyber, Agri-Tech, Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing & Renewables. Good support had been received from all local authorities. Emphasis was placed on all authorities maintaining the momentum on the support already underway.


A report on the Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy was discussed at the last meeting. In an update at this meeting, the committee was informed that on 21 May 2019, a Climate Change Summit had been held at the Gloucester Growth Hub with over 120 delegates in attendance, including representation from all local authorities. The summit had offered a variety of workshops, table discussions and feedback sessions, with speakers and presentations from; Adam Starkey GFirst LEP, Cllr Nigel Moor GCC, BEIS, Ecotricity, Severn Wye Energy Agency, Spirax Sarco, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Ridge & Partners LLP and students from the University of Gloucestershire.


Early actions identified by the summit included:


1)    GFirst LEP Energy Business Group to establish 3 task groups relating to a) Heat Decarbonisation; b) Renewable Energy  and c) Low Carbon Transport;


2)    Gloucestershire County Council to review its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (Summer Review);


3)    A meeting to be arranged involving key decision makers from the County Council and District Authorities, aimed at developing and implementing a collaborative action plan on Climate Change.


4)    Engagement with the Gloucestershire County Council Youth Panel and the University of Gloucestershire’s Green Team.


The Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy is available online at;


It was suggested that a Climate Change presentation be presented at the next committee meeting and this was agreed. Action by – Phillip Williams/Pete Wiggins


Updating the committee on the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), it was confirmed all LEP’s had been tasked by Government to produce a Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) for their area (with a deadline of March 2020). The GFirst LEP is in the final wave (Wave 3) of developing the Gloucestershire Local Industrial Strategy, with ‘Driving Productivity’ a primary focus.


Gloucestershire’s LIS will set the direction for the future of Gloucestershire’s economy; help inform local choices, prioritise local actions and, where appropriate, help inform decisions at a national level. The strategy to guide local investment from funding granted to Local Enterprise Partnerships by central government and other national schemes.


To produce the LIS, a strong evidence base would be required, for which a call for evidence had commenced in Mid March, with a deadline of the end of May 2019. The call for evidence was open to submissions from any stakeholder in the public, private or voluntary sectors. At the time of the meeting, a number of organisations had responded to the call for evidence.


For more details on the strategy, please visit the following link:


The launch of a large Youth Engagement Strategy involving 14 to 25 year olds was underway, for which Young Gloucestershire and Participation People intended to work in partnership to engage with young people across the county via surveys, focus groups and social media.


The current survey can be viewed at the following link:


Questions relating to ‘why do young people want to leave Gloucestershire’ and ‘what would encourage you to stay’ to be included in the survey.


The GFirst Annual Review Event will be held at the Gloucester Growth Hub on 19 September 2019. Members of the committee are welcome to attend the event.

Supporting documents: