LEP warning over funding uncertainty

By Laura Sharman | 08 November 2021

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has warned it has reached 'crisis point' after only receiving half the funds promised from the Government so far this year.

It has only received £250,000 of the £500,000 funding the Government has agreed for this financial year and has been forced to use its own reserves in order to keep operating.

LEP chair Mandy Thorn said: 'This is clearly not sustainable in the long-term and is causing a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress for our staff – hugely dedicated public servants working to ensure taxpayers get full value for their money and that our economy can recover from the dreadful impact of COVID.'

Ms Thorn also called for clarity over the long-term future of LEPs in general after publication of a Government review into the 38 partnerships across the country was delayed again.

She added: 'The review has been underway for several months and the publication of its findings have been pushed back a number of times.

'This is creating still more uncertainty.'

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: 'We are working with LEPs to refine their role and ensure it is fit-for-purpose for the future, and we are determined to ensure businesses continue to have clear representation and support as we drive the recovery and build back better.

'A decision will be made shortly on releasing the second tranche of core funding for 2021-22.'

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Funding Reserves LEPs