In a policy shift, the Government announced on 4th August 2023 that it will cease direct core funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) from April 2024, directing financial resources instead towards local authorities and encouraging local and combined authorities to take on the functions currently delivered by LEPs.  

Locally in Lincolnshire, the local authorities and the LEP Board have agreed that the Greater Lincolnshire LEP will not integrate into a local authority by 24th March 2024.  The LEP has the full support to continue operating in the medium term and any future integration will be aligned with a potential devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire.

Neal Juster, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “The Greater Lincolnshire LEP continues to serve us exceptionally well and we are proud of the role all partners have collectively played in working together to deliver economic development, infrastructure, and major programmes across our area in recent years.

“As a board and a team, we are committed to working with all partners to continue our work, and to develop next steps leading up to devolution, recognising the importance of a strong business voice and a successful economy for Greater Lincolnshire.”

Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Across Greater Lincolnshire, we want to ensure that the voice of businesses in our area continues to be heard. The participation of the private sector has been critical to the success of LEPs, and we have a shared commitment to making sure that businesses play an active role in shaping economic policy going forward.

“Given our ambitions for devolution, we believe there is no reason to transfer responsibilities for economic development away from the LEP at this time.”

Councillor Rob Waltham MBE, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We've worked closely with businesses through the LEP, supporting the creation of more, well paid jobs and backing their ambitious investment plans across the whole of Lincolnshire.

“This will continue with our equally ambitious commitment to securing a game-changing devolution deal which will make a positive difference to every family in the county – businesses will be an essential part of this.

“Businesses across our area have proved themselves to be instrumental in making a huge contribution to productivity for the whole of the country through providing fuel, food and energy for the UK and they will play an integral role in Lincolnshire's ambitious future.”

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The ambition we have for the whole of Greater Lincolnshire, including the south Humber bank, can be achieved if we continue to grow our robust relationships with the private sector. Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring those relationships do indeed continue to be strong and we will work with the relevant organisations and partners to make that happen.”

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership is among the 38 LEPs nationwide responsible for driving local economic development. These partnerships play a central role in determining economic priorities and undertaking initiatives to spur growth and job creation within their regions.

Since its creation in 2011 the Greater Lincolnshire LEP has:

  • unlocked investment worth £425m for transformational schemes
  • created almost 4,000 jobs
  • delivered 75 significant growth projects & programmes
  • worked with 26,000 businesses through the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub
  • launched the nationally significant UK Food Valley with £70m invested in agri skills

Details of the Government announcement can be found here.