Decision due on LEP bid

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A DECISION on the application for a York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership is expected next month.

Local Enterprise Partnerships are in the process of being introduced by the Coalition Government in place of regional development agencies such as Yorkshire Forward.

Scarborough was initially included in two options for a Local Enterprise Partnership, which are aimed at delivering economic development planning through a local authority and business partnership.

The first option would have seen Scarborough Council form a “coastal” partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council.

The second proposal would see the authority join forces with the other district councils in North Yorkshire, along with North Yorkshire County Council itself to form a York and North Yorkshire Partnership.

After a period of consultation business secretary Vince Cable revealed in October that out of the 62 proposals received, 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships had been given the green light.

However neither the Coastal Partnership or the North Yorkshire Partnership were included in the 24 successful bids.

Despite the rejection both bids have now been re submitted after undergoing further work.

This week dozens of Scarborough businesses attended a meeting of the Leeds York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce where they heard an update on the proposal for a York and North Yorkshire partnership.

Speaking at the meeting, held at the Crown Spa Hotel, was Jonathan French, executive manager of the York and North Yorkshire Partnership Unit, who has been charged with organising the bid.

He said: “I think we should be seeing this a radically different way of doing things as the method we have used in the past for local economic development is disappearing.

“We are on unmapped territory now, and we have to work together to find our way.

“We need businesses to come forward and take a more leading role and help their own business community by supporting new areas of investment.

“We are hoping to hear back in February whether the revised bid has been successful, and if it has we will start the process of appointing a board.”

Mr French said the bid contains areas which have already been selected by the partnership as key areas of focus, the main one being broadband and making it more accessible to rural areas.