At the South East LEP we are currently charting out the next phase of funding and investment by refreshing our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). A lot has changed since we first published our SEP in March 2014. Times change and we need to remain agile to drive through our vision for impactful growth for all in our area. through the creation of a new strategy that will be successful in attracting the funding and investment we need to maximise economic, infrastructure and employment opportunity.
The first Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) was published in March 2014. It made the case for a Local Growth Fund investment from Government of £1.2billion, £200m a year, from 2015 to 2021, matched by private and public funds. Funds to be invested in a programme of activities across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock to transform business growth and infrastructure.
We were very successful attracting a total of £591m to deliver 78,000 jobs, 29,000 homes and attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East.
In addition, successful bids by SELEP means that by 2020 it will have invested £161m from the EU’s European Structural and Investment Funds, including £71.6m in skills, education and lifelong learning, and improving access to employment for young people and enhancing social inclusion.
Since the iteration of the 2014 SEP there have been many changes. It is therefore time to renew this vision, to realign it with national policy and funding frameworks and with local priority. The new SEP will need to:
It will also need to take into account the changing environment:
As part of the process of preparing the next South East of England Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Strategic Economic Plan, we have been consulting with a range of public and private sector stakeholders in East Sussex, Essex, Kent & Medway, Thurrock, Southend and the wider South-East of England about the opportunities they believe are important for the future of the SELEP Economy.
Throughout the summer we collected a broad evidence base of national and local data and a range of responses to questions directly aimed at answering the question ‘what we would love the South East Economy to become?’ and ‘what should SELEP’s priorities be to help it add value to local plans and speak for business’.
The evidence base report will help SELEP set out its strategic priorities and shape a well-informed SEP with a bold narrative and coherent plan. The aim is publish the SEP early 2018.