Local Enterprise Partnerships to deliver progressive social outcomes

6th December 2013.

Local Economy journal article

This commentary piece seeks to outline the case for a ‘whole place’ approach to progressive economic development. It discusses how Local Enterprise Partnerships can expand their foci and considers the challenge for them of meeting social objectives. Local Enterprise Partnerships are not currently constructing coherent policy approaches to economic growth aspirations and social justice considerations. They offer an opportunity to enhance interplay between and within the commercial, public and social sector functions of the economy. It is through developing networks and relationships that Local Enterprise Partnerships can enhance resilience, and generate synergy to develop innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges. Universities and social enterprises are the exact sorts of organisations which are needed to support Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure that these networks are given full consideration and representation in the strategic planning of local economies. The role of small-to-medium enterprises in delivering whole place economies is also important, and their views should be feed into strategic decision making at the local level, as arguably they have greater stakes in whole place economies. In conclusion, those Local Enterprise Partnerships who lead the way by embedding the social sector into their working practice will create the most sustainable economic and social benefits.

The article can be viewed on the local economy website in the November/December 2013 issue