Back our plan to create 25,000 jobs, LEP tells Government as it sets out blueprint for growth

March 31, 2014

The blueprint for job creation and economic growth in Bristol and the West of England was unveiled this morning with a clear message to the Government – come and back our vision for success.

The Strategic Economic Plan identifies the city-region’s key growth sectors and sets out 122 ways that growth can be accelerated. It has been drafted by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to show the Government how the region will further develop its economy, already worth £25bn, over the next six years, stimulating sustainable economic growth and creating 25,500 jobs.

The LEP estimates that to achieve this it will need £90m a year from the Government over the next six years. The LEP has today officially bid for the money from an annual £2bn fund set aside by the Government to finance the strategic economic plans of the country’s 39 LEPs.

The West of England Strategic Economic Plan is the most comprehensive ever for drawn up for the city-region and the first to be supported by the four local authorities. It is also backed by all major business groups in the area and its four universities.

Launching the report at Bristol’s Engine Shed innovation centre this morning ahead of its submission to the Government, LEP chair Colin Skellett, said: “The West of England is the most productive and skilled core city-region outside of London. We punch well above our weight, generating £25bn annually, contributing £10bn of taxes to UK plc each year, and we have an international reputation as a major player in a number of sectors.

“Our economic plan develops our unique strengths. It is ambitious yet deliverable, and builds on our successes to ensure we generate the greatest return on investment for a combination of public and private sector organisations, who are being encouraged to invest.   The results will be seen nationally and internationally.”

He admitted that funding all the measures in the plan would mean the West of England receiving twice as much as it would get if the Government fund was shared equally among the 39 LEPS.

But he added: “This is an investment proposal to the Government. Our key message is that if you want to create jobs and growth this is the place to do it.

“If you are investing, then you want your money to go into something that will be a success. It’s about backing winners.”

The plan identifies creative & digital, low carbon, hi-tech, advanced engineering & aerospace, and professional services as the sectors in which the area boasts sustainable international advantages.

These sectors demonstrate the biggest potential to create jobs and growth while creating a multiplier effect in other sectors, says the plan.

It also focuses on 122 activities – or ‘interventions’ – in these key sectors to bring about the greatest results.

These interventions are ways of accelerating growth by addressing market failures, including projects to realise new technologies in quantum computing, robotics and renewable energy, as well as further development of our key assets such as Engine Shed, Bristol & Bath Science Park and the National Composite Centre.

Some 34 of these ‘interventions’ have been prioritised as most deliverable, creating an estimated 22,500 jobs and around £1.9bn of GVA (gross value added) to the region’s economy over the next six years.

The plan has been developed over the last six months by the LEP and its extensive network, including through the collaboration of the LEP’s extensive network of 800 businesses.

To read the full Strategic Economic Plan go to

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.