Set up in 2010 by the Coalition Government, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) are partnerships between local authorities and businesses. They determine the priorities for investment in roads, buildings and facilities in the area.
The Chamber's policy team has key strategic relationships with the region's two LEPs, which allow it to more effectively lobby key policy-makers and shape government policy in a way that boosts the two counties' economies.
Worcestershire LEP was one of the first standalone, single-county LEPs to be approved in December 2010 by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Focussing on four key strategic sectors, namely; advanced manufacturing, cyber security & defence, agri-tech and visitor & destination economy, the Worcestershire LEP aims to support sustainable economic growth and employment in the county, with the specific target of creating 25,000 jobs and increasing gross value added (GVA) by £2.9 billion by 2020.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's CEO Mike Ashton sits on Worcestershire LEP's Business Board and chairs its Tourism & Leisure Strategy Group. He is also a member of the LEP's National Profiling Strategy Group.
Click here for more information on the Worcestershire LEP
The Marches LEP aims to create the business conditions necessary for enterprise to flourish in the unitary council areas of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Its vision is to create 70,000 new homes and 40,000 jobs over the next 20 years, harnessing private sector investment and support in order to help the 28,000 businesses currently operating in the Marches area to increase their already sizeable £10 billion contribution to the UK economy.
As Interim Chair of Hereford Business Board, Chamber CEO Mike Ashton has important links with the Marches LEP. Created in response to the formation of the Marches LEP, the Hereford Business Board's Chair also has a place on the Marches LEP board to make sure that Herefordshire businesses are represented at LEP level.
Click here for more information on the Marches LEP