Two Yorkshire LEPs approve merger plans

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership have approved plans to merge.

The move would see York and North Yorkshire combine with West Yorkshire to form a single LEP, responsible for significant potential investment to boost economic growth and social inclusion.

At almost 4,000 square miles, the geography of the proposed new LEP would cover 8% of England and bring together a diverse mix of rural and coastal areas, towns and cities.

The new proposed LEP geography would cover the unitary and district council areas of Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees, Hambleton, Harrogate, Leeds, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield and York plus North Yorkshire County Council.

The merger is the result of a government review into LEPs nationally, which was announced by housing secretary, James Brokenshire, in the summer.

The two existing LEPs will form a transition sub-group to look at the key issues they need to address together as they approach the partial merger.

The full merger is expected to be complete and the new LEP in place by April 2020.

It is expected that Barnsley, which is currently part of the Leeds City Region, will remain with the Sheffield City Region LEP, while the East Riding area that forms part of the existing York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP will remain part of the Humber LEP.

In a joint statement, the Chairs of the two existing LEPs – Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and David Kerfoot MBE DL, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership said: Our respective LEPs have achieved a great deal over the past seven years, from putting in place nationally acclaimed rural business support schemes to securing major investment for new transport and broadband infrastructure.

‘Now we have an opportunity to do even more for the rural, coastal and urban communities we represent, by bringing together elements of our existing LEP geographies into a combined engine for extraordinary economic growth that will enable all parts of our region to prosper.’

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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