Levelling Up White Paper reaction by Interim GBSLEP Chair, Anita Bhalla

Levelling Up White Paper reaction by Interim GBSLEP Chair, Anita Bhalla

02 Feb 2022


Today’s White Paper has revealed LEPs will continue to play a critical role in developing regional economies – bringing businesses into the conversation about the future growth of places. It outlines that where LEPs are located within the geography of Mayoral Combined Authorities, they are being encouraged to integrate. Where devolution deals with an MCA cover part of a LEP (like GBSLEP), the paper says this will be looked at on a case by case basis. Of course, this relates to us as we are one of 3 LEPs within the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) geography. The Government has said they will provide further detail. Meanwhile, we have already been working with the WMCA to develop a Plan for Growth for the region and will continue our collaborative approach to ensure the best outcomes for our communities.

GBSLEP has been demonstrating the missions of the levelling up plan as announced today over the last decade, creating opportunities for our communities through job creation which has boosted productivity. We are critical to the future of levelling up. To date, our work has added £12.7 billion GVA to the regional economy. We have spread opportunities through skills training and job creation - 187,000 private-sector jobs have been added to our region since 2010. Crucially we have unleashed private sector investment in significant projects like Paradise Birmingham, enterprise hubs in Cannock and Redditch, and the Precision Health Technologies Accelerator which has catalysed the development of the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus.

We have been able to make a difference because of our unique triple helix partnership model of bringing businesses, local government, colleges, and universities together to make informed decisions that create sustainable investments. Our breadth of private sector expertise, combined with partnerships across public bodies is integral to the success of our investments. For every £1 we have invested, £3 has been leveraged in private and public funding. We look forward to deepening our relationships as part of Team West Midlands to ensure everyone has access to a better quality of life.


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