Hot on the heels of the announcement about the designation of Northampton’s Waterside Enterprise Zone (300 hectares of employment land with potential to create 4.5 million sq ft of commercial and industrial floor space), has come the announcement that Northamptonshire has now been granted Local Enterprise Partnership status.

The Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers a population of nearly 700,000 and represents nearly 25,000 businesses.

Northamptonshire LEP’s priorities include increasing the coverage of super fast broadband; re-generating and improving connectivity between the main population areas and supporting the tourism industry, in addition to growing the role of sectors like advanced manufacturing and engineering, information technology and logistics.

Paul Southworth, Chairman of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), said the move marked ‘a significant milestone’ in the development of the regions economy. He added that ‘the NEP’s action-orientated approach helped earn the county its LEP. The Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) is about business. It is led by business and is specifically targeted at supporting business growth and attracting new business investment for Northampton’, said Southworth.

Decentralisation minister Greg Clark said ‘Northamptonshire has huge potential for growth and in the next ten years is well placed to help drive national economic recovery. The Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership will see local civic and business leaders take the reins of the local economy and exploit this potential for Northamptonshire to become a powerhouse for the economy.

We now have 38 local enterprise partnerships that are a testament to the strength of local leadership, ideas and ambition across the country and will help create a fairer, more balanced economy driven by private sector strength’.

Drake Commercial’s view is that this is excellent news for Northamptonshire. We now have the opportunity to be in control of our own promotion without being a smaller part of the old EMDA area that covered several other counties as well.

Any queries or comments please direct to Nicholas Roberts 01604 620616