The national and local business environment covers a range of cross cutting areas. The Government is taking action where necessary to enhance competitiveness and support growth. This includes:
- Infrastructure – Critical to enable supply chains to operate efficiently and vehicles and engines to be shipped. The Government has increased investment in infrastructure in support of the delivery of the National Infrastructure Plan. In addition, the Government has announced an increase in capital spending plans by £3 billion a year from 2015
- Planning – The Government has acted to address constraints in the land use planning system including reforms to the regime for major infrastructure and reforms to improve local planning performance, for example in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013
Local Enterprise Partnerships
Government has supported local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) to be formed to lead local economic development. 39 LEPs across England have been set up to provide local direction and support, in place of the eight Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).
The Automotive Council will improve strategic interaction with the key automotive LEPs, devolved partners and other local decision makers, bringing them together with members of the full Council twice a year through the LEP Leadership Forum (LLF) to determine strategic priorities for local and regional implementation of the national strategy.
In addition, 24 Enterprise Zones have been established to encourage investment. Companies located in these benefit from a number of incentives including business rate relief and enhanced capital allowances. To support local economic development, the Government has announced the creation of a Single Local Growth Fund (SLGF) with over £2 billion of budgets from skills, housing and transport for 2015-16. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, local economic development is the responsibility of the Devolved Administrations
LEPs are leading the delivery of enterprise zones in their area and zones have a sectoral focus that reflects their area, including some with a particular automotive focus. These have the ambition to create strong automotive clusters with enhanced local supply chains. The Government is working collectively to help maximise the opportunities these zones present for the UK automotive sector.
LEP automotive summaries
Alongside Enterprise Zones, LEPs have been investing significant time and effort in developing and implementing local business support programmes. Many now have a number of initiatives up and running that are delivering against key issues their local businesses are facing. While welcome, the range of new activities combined with the new geographical boundaries has created a more complex landscape for industry to now navigate.
Automotive Council has recognised an opportunity to support the automotive industry’s interests in this area through providing some clarity and support of the current lay of the land. Through partnering with the LEPs involved in the LLF, Automotive Council has been able to compile one page summaries on each of the key automotive LEP offerings to the industry. These summaries include detail of each LEP’s geographical area, the distinctive local offer for companies looking invest within the LEP, key areas of automotive focus and expertise, and the range of funding and support mechanisms available to businesses within its boundaries.
These are working documents that will be updated on a regular basis. For more information, please contact Luke Hampton (firstname.lastname@example.org).