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Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership to transition to county council next year

24 November 2023
Ruth Dooley - picture contributed
Ruth Dooley - picture contributed

The responsibilities of Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst LEP), which has attracted millions of pounds of investment into the county from central government, is set to transfer over to the county Council from April next year.

In August this year, Whitehall confirmed the transfer of Local Enterprise Partnership functions and assets to upper tier local authorities and it was approved at a county council cabinet meeting on November 22.

READ MORE: Gloucestershire's rollout of electric vehicle charging points gets under way

In preparation for the integration, the LEP chief executive David Owen, was seconded from November 1, 2022 to the role of director of economy and environment within the county council.

The majority of the current GFirst LEP staff will transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) TUPE over to the county council from April, 2024.

"The GFirst LEP board approved the transition plans at our September board meeting," said Ruth Dooley, the chair of GFirst LEP.

"I’m really pleased to see all the important initiatives and activities that have been led by GFirst LEP including the Business Groups, Invest in Gloucestershire, Made in Gloucestershire and Growth Hub support will all continue.

"This is testimony to the hard work of the LEP staff, board members, business group members and indeed all our business stakeholders."

David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP and director of economy and environment for Gloucestershire county counciI, added: "I would like to thank all LEP Board members and staff and County Council Cabinet members and staff for their support during these transition discussions.

"Change often brings innovation and growth, and we’re excited to embrace this new chapter in our journey. With the opportunity for even stronger partnerships getting behind a new economic strategy for the county we will continue to work with businesses to shape a brighter, greener, more prosperous future for Gloucestershire."

The government's 'Levelling Up' white paper back in February 2022 set out a very clear direction of travel for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The document said that the government anticipated that "all LEPs will eventually fully integrate into local democratic institutions in line with our mission to offer a devolution deal to everywhere that wants one by 2030".

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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