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Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Development, Economy, Employment, LEP, Local Government, National Government, News, Skills, The West of England Initiative, Transport | 0 comments

West of England LEP Update

West of England LEP Update

Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) and Transport Study – Launch Update

A consultation on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan Issues and Options Document is running for a 12 week period from 9 November to 29 January 2016. In parallel a consultation is taking place as part of the Joint Transport Study, which will inform high level strategy and the delivery of major transport schemes throughout the area until 2036. The documents are available to view at https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/consult.ti

Chancellors Autumn Statement – Enterprise Zones

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn statement that the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone (BTQEZ) extension and the Bath and Somer Valley proposals were approved as a combined bid, with details to be confirmed.
The deal is a boost to Somer Valley’s economy with opportunities for business to relocate and grow, providing investment and jobs for the long term. It is also expected that additional funds raised by the BTQEZ expansion will assist in the much needed redevelopment of Temple Meads station.

Devolution

The LEP is supportive of devolving powers and funding from national government to local government and the LEP is working with the 4 authorities to secure a deal that will benefit the whole of the West of England, building on our strengths as the home of knowledge, innovation and quality of life with a growing economy providing significant benefits to the country as whole.

Invest Bristol and Bath

Over the past two years, Invest Bristol and Bath (IBB) has attracted over 2,000 new jobs to the region and continually surpassed its annual figures. This financial year, IBB has attracted 565 new jobs and is on track to meet its annual target of 950 new jobs.

For the Qtr3 period, IBB has attracted 90 new jobs to the region including:
 Bugsnag, a digital integration company bringing 15 new jobs to Bath
 ModusNova, a digital company bring 20 new jobs to Bath
 Helm360, expansion of a Bristol company generating 30 new jobs

The pipeline of potential jobs continues to grow to over 4,500, of which 1,800 probable jobs are anticipated to land in the region in the next 18 months, including:
 Major Government investment – 800 jobs
 Luxury brand – 350 jobs
 Global engineering business – 50 jobs
 US based big data medical company – 15 jobs
 A Polish high tech company – 7 jobs in Portishead
 Local expansion of a digital company into Bristol – 20 jobs

Other achievements included securing significant press coverage in the national and trade press including:

 Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/nov/25/who-needs-london-where-to-work-if-youre-priced-out-of-the-capital
BBC Radio Bristol: breakfast show dedicated to SETsquared and tech cluster
 Forbes International: focus on cyber security http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorclawson/2015/11/27/its-not-just-the-money-putting-uk-cyber-security-startups-on-the-map/
 BBC World Service: Bristol & Bath tech cluster
 Aerospace Manufacturing: Bristol & Bath aerospace cluster http://www.aero-mag.com/features/18/201511/3495/

West of England Growth Fund (WEGF)

WEGF has now paid out in excess of £17m to 300 SME’s to support growth and job creation with the average amount of grant paid per month over the last year at £1.1m. To date the programme has created or safeguarded approximately 1500 jobs in the West of England at an average grant of around £10,500.

European Regional Development Funding (ERDF)

The call for ERDF funding is now open. ERDF encourages sustainable business growth through innovation, support to SMEs and a focus on low carbon activity. Funding will be directed at projects delivering SME Growth, SME Growth (Social Enterprise) and Innovation. The LEP will be holding a briefing for each funding call in early December, covering the national operating programme, local strategy and required outputs.
Book a place: SME Growth Enterprise; Innovation; SME Growth
Further details can be found at: www.westofenglandlep.co.uk/funding/eu-sif

Skills

 Ofsted recently published its Annual Review 2015. Three of West of England authorities’ areas (Bristol, B&NES and North Somerset) are in the top 20 local authorities nationally (out of c150) for the percentage of pupils attending “good” or “outstanding” secondary schools. This presents a very positive picture about the education system locally and highlights the quality of life on offer. The LEP works with schools on a range of initiatives such as the Employability Chartermark, Labour Market Information and Careers & Enterprise Company programmes.

 The new Skills Prospectus 2015 was launched at our annual conference. This guide outlines how and where to go to develop the skills that local employers want and need. It is designed to help individuals make informed career choices in key sectors across the West of England. The prospectus highlights the courses available within our priority sectors at the four further education colleges and Western Training Provider Network (WTNP)

 We are continuing to provide a weekly LEP Apprenticeship Bulletin to support our careers advisors in the region and support our Apprenticeship Ambition for 2020. The Apprenticeship Ambition officially launched in November with 80 partners in attendance.

 On 10 November, we welcomed Claudia Harris, Chief Executive, Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) to the region to discuss our participation in the first wave of the national Enterprise Adviser Network programme and outlined how the Enterprise Adviser programme would improve the school’s engagement with employers, whist raising aspirations and improving the prospects of their learners.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is working with the LEP to engage partners, build on local success models and prioritise areas of local need. The LEP is currently recruiting 2 x Enterprise Co-ordinators who will establish a high quality network of business volunteers (Enterprise Advisers) to work with schools to develop a careers and enterprise plan, with Advisers supported and informed by our co-ordinators.

If you are an employer or employee, and wish to make a positive strategic addition to improving school-employer engagement and supporting the LEP’s skills priority of improving careers education, information, advice and guidance for young people, please register your interest by emailing your details to skills@westofengland.org

 Following the Annual Business Skills Survey 2015, and with the support of our sector groups, we have produced Local Sector Skills statements for our priority sectors which outline the skills priorities of employers to ensure they have access to a local workforce with the right skills at the right levels. These will be available online shortly.

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