London Enterprise Panel's Jobs and Growth Plan launched

02 May 2013

The London Enterprise Panel (LEP) has today launched its Jobs & Growth Plan for London. The Plan is accompanied by a Prospectus inviting organisations to bid for funding for activity that will help support the delivery of the Plan. The £40 million funding package is designed to encourage private sector investment and will be targeted towards areas identified by the LEP as being of strategic importance to London's economic growth.

The largest portion - £25 million - will be used to create a scheme to raise equity or loan finance for small and medium-sized businesses. With more than 800,000 SMEs in London, representing 50 per cent of all employment opportunities and £430 billion in business turnover, the Mayor and the LEP have prioritised support for this important sector.

The remaining £15million is available for investment into the capital's science and technology sector or infrastructure.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "My top priority is to get London's economy moving and create jobs. Harnessing the expertise of the London Enterprise Panel, we have taken a forensic look at what type of support is needed to oil the wheels of enterprise in this city. Today's fund, which will enable significant support for small and medium sized businesses, is just one way we are working to unlock potential and provide jobs for our growing city. I look forward to collaborating with the LEP as we champion further ways to ensure London retains its competitive edge among world cities."

The London Enterprise Panel (London's Local Enterprise Partnership) has identified four priority areas to boost London's economy and cope with predicted skills needs. The LEP's Jobs and Growth Plan published today, after months of consultations, contains a series of aims and recommendations. In summary, these cover the following areas:

  • Raise skill levels and increase employment opportunities to ensure Londoners can compete for London's job needs - recommendations include LEP funding for an apprentice campaign, working with employers to increase placements with a view to create 250,000 apprenticeships by 2015;
  • Champion small and medium sized enterprises to support and grow businesses - this includes a LEP commitment to increase SME exports; increase access to finance; identify workspace needs and explore affordable workspace options;
  • Support the digital, creative, science and technology sectors to position the capital as a world leading hub - the LEP will encourage and incentivise collaboration across these sectors, for example through competitions and challenges; help entrepreneurs to market-test ideas; promote London's world-beating universities and research base; attract major global science and technology events to the city; increase science and tech apprenticeships; lever European money;
  • Encourage infrastructure investment into London to keep the city moving and functioning - LEP funding will support infrastructure projects and seek to promote globally London's expertise in delivering infrastructure projects.

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise and Co-Chair of the London Enterprise Panel, said: "Our priorities are twofold. We must create opportunities for as many Londoners as possible to become economically active. We must also fit the city for the future, helping it to adapt to a global economy that can shift jobs and capital across time zones in a matter of weeks. These twin objectives require strategic focus, and we hope that is what you will find in the document published today. Over the last few months we have consulted with London on our plans and equipped the London Enterprise Panel to deliver on the task it has been set."

Harvey McGrath, Co-Chair of the London Enterprise Panel, said: "I want to thank everyone, particularly London's private sector, who have contributed to this plan in the past months of extensive conversations, meetings and consultations. This invaluable dialogue has been distilled into a series of business-friendly recommendations and targets to strengthen London's position as a world-leading economy."

The Mayor has secured £111million from the Government's Growing Places Fund to support the work of the London Enterprise Panel. Last month the Mayor and the LEP provided £2million for Film London, enabling it to capitalise on a new tax relief for TV and animation production. It is anticipated this will attract £200m worth of additional expenditure through TV and animation production and create 1,000 industry jobs.

2 May 2014