Rutland County Council is to join the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with immediate effect.
The move is a boost for businesses in Rutland, which can now access services and resources offered by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and its Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub.
Rutland was a founder member of the Greater Peterborough Greater Cambridgeshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which morphed into a Business Board run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
Now Rutland has decided to join the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, with which it has a close alignment in terms of its rural economy, its market towns and the importance of sectors such as agriculture, tourism and food and drink.
Subject to final agreement on governance matters, the Leader of Rutland County Council, Councillor Oliver Hemsley, will join the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Board of Directors as a public sector representative.
Councillor Hemsley commented: “We are delighted to become part of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
“There are significant parallels between Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland’s economies. Rutland boasts a resilient and passionate business community that bring a wealth of knowledge and talent to further enhance the LEP’s skills and expertise.
“I believe this will be a strong union that will help us to support our and the region’s businesses and economy to re-establish and thrive following lockdown.”
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, welcomed Rutland’s membership.
“I know I speak for the board in welcoming Rutland to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership,” he said.
“Its addition brings greater diversity and opportunity to the region and we look forward to working with the Leader Councillor Hemsley, the Chief Executive Helen Briggs, and local business across the SME segments in further developing economic prosperity in what are challenging times.
“Now more than ever, the collaborative efforts of the public and private sectors are vital both to plot a course through the current issues and to prepare the economy’s route forward at a local level.”
Rutland’s membership of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP means that businesses in the county can now tap into the services and resources offered by the LEP.
These include the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub and its Building Business Resilience programme designed to help companies withstand a range of economic shocks such as Brexit and COVID-19.
The LEP also runs an Enterprise Adviser Network to bridge the gap between education and business, enabling volunteers from business to work directly with careers leads and senior leadership teams in secondary schools in Lincolnshire and Rutland.