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SELEP’S AGM highlights funding successes, skills work, COVID-19 support and strategic direction for the future

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) held its AGM for the 2020-2021 financial year on the 3rd November.

The LEP’s work within skills, particularly help for businesses and individuals in digital skills was showcased as well as the work of the Growth Hub, business support service which supported more than 6,000 businesses during the pandemic.

Chief Executive Adam Bryan outlined key projects that the LEP invested in the 2020-2021 financial year, including the Sector Support Fund-backed Energy and Clean Growth – Supply Chain Mapping project and the Getting Building Fund-backed Observer Building in Hastings and Enterprise Centre for Horizon 120 Business Park among others.

The SELEP’s COVID-19 Recovery Funds Programme, which is progressing at pace, after being agreed by the LEP’s Board last year also featured. This allowed SELEP to repurpose £2.4m to create a Business Support Fund, with the schemes:

  • Starting and Succeeding in Business: Offering learning, advice and mentoring and delivered by WSX Enterprise.
  • Adapting with Digital: A programme of online business support including masterclasses, networking and 1-2-1s, also delivered by WSX Enterprise.
  • Revi-VE – South East Visitor Economy Fund: Offering small 100% grants between £1000-£3000 to visitor economy businesses across the South East and delivered by the Visitor Economy delivery partners.

A further £2m was earmarked for a Skills Fund, with the schemes:

  • SELEP Digital Bridge: Offering training, equipment and internet access to individuals impacted by COVID-19. Delivered by We Are Digital.
  • SELEP Digital Skills Programme: Supporting individuals into tech roles with a particular focus on increasing diversity in the sector. Delivered by Tech Talent Academy.
  • SELEP Covid Recovery Academy: Supporting individuals to re-train where they have been unemployed as a result of COVID-19. Delivered by Shaw Trust/Ixion.

In 2020-2021, SELEP’s Skills Advisory Panel and Digital Skills Partnership compounded this funding programme with events, a new website and ongoing work to support young people, students and those whose careers had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

SELEP Chief Executive Adam Bryan said:

“Our AGM is a great opportunity to look back over the last year and bring a spotlight to the work that the LEP does, particularly during such a difficult and unusual year. I am immensely proud of the work that SELEP achieved during 2020-2021.

“We will continue to provide strategic direction and sector-focused support in the year ahead, as well as remaining the key link that brings together government, business and education to ensure that we are all working cohesively to bring sustainable, economic growth to the South East.”

The full presentation and details of the projects and schemes outlined can be found here.

The AGM followed SELEPs hugely successful clean growth event, South East Futures: What Does Clean Growth look like in the South East? with the theme of sustainability continuing as a cross-cutting factor to the LEP’s ongoing work.

SELEP COVID-19 Recovery Funds Programme

The SELEP COVID-19 Recovery Funds Programme is a £4.4m programme of support in the areas of business support and skills. It will be used to support the recovery of the economy in 2021, investing directly in those areas across the South East most affected by the pandemic, and providing businesses with the tools they need to build back stronger.

This fund was part of the original decision by the SELEP Strategic Board back in 2020 to re-purpose some of the Growing Places Funding into COVID-19 response activity.



Further information about the funds can be found here.