Get the latest from South East LEP

February 16, 2016

Get the latest from South East LEP

Dates for the diary – 11th March, 2016: SE LEP Strategic Board Meeting

Lower Thames Crossing (LTC)

SE LEP has launched website as a resource to support businesses in responding to this consultation. The website is to support our campaign to encourage local businesses to make their voices heard in the official consultation. We are seeking business views on their preferred route for a new crossing from the options Highways England have put forward – three routes north of the river and two option south of the river. We would welcome support from all partners to share this with local business communities.

Shared Intelligence will be supporting SE LEP to develop an official SE LEP response to the Lower Thames Crossing consultation, which runs until 24th March 2016. Shared Intelligence may in touch with key partners in due course to develop this work, please support them in achieving this, further information to follow.

SE LEP attended a media briefing with the Editors at the Kent Messenger Group and sister publications in Essex, including The Essex Chronicle, to update them on Lower Thames crossing Consultation and associated SE LEP campaign.

Accountability Board

Excellent meeting of the SE LEP Accountability Board to sign off latest business cases, receive 15/16 funding position and discuss the look ahead to 16/17. Thanks to everyone involved for another successful meeting.

Delivering our £488m Growth Deal

Good engagement sessions with SDG ahead of the Accountability Board and for planning our approach to the profiling of LGF spend for 16/17. Much of this agreed at the Accountability Board on Friday. Look out for the Programme Consideration Session for 16/17 LGF on 7th March.


Positive steps forward with London LEP about a cross-LEP business engagement event supporting the work of the West Anglia Task Force and the case for the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.


Further meeting of the SE LEP housing working group and the Ashford Housing (Housing Business Readiness programme) pilot both ran successfully.

Growth Hub

SE LEP has been allocated £1.312m for delivering Growth Hub activity over the next two years. Much work has been undertaken in the past week to prepare the information needed by BIS to draw down these funds.
SE LEP is hosting a Growth Hub launch event in Westminster on 14th March, 2016, in conjunction with the launch of the Creative Economy Prospectus.

European Funding

SE LEP attended the Defra/RPA/LEP Roundtable update meeting in London last Thursday. Information was provided about process and timings for the next round of ‘calls’ and future engagement between the RPA and LEPs to promote these. The provision of a more seamless application process and a raised profile of calls are two of the main priorities. Details will be confirmed next week.

Meeting held with Cabinet Office

South East Let met with officials to update them on our work with the Big Lottery and Social Enterprise. The written procedure to the SE LEP ESIF sub- committee, with the recommended outcomes for stage 1 applications for CLLD closed. The successful areas are Hastings, Thurrock, Ramsgate and Folkestone.  A workshop will be organised by DCLG to brief these areas on the next steps to the full application.


  • Skills Capital allocations were agreed by the Accountability board on Friday last week.
  • SE LEP Skills lead met with The Careers and Enterprise Company to look at a LEP wide approach to roll out of programmes.
  • SE LEP attended a ‘Future Apprenticeships’  consultation at Institute of Education.

Also in brief

Excellent meeting with Coast to Capital LEP and with the other LEP Directors and CEOs to discuss next steps on the journey, including the importance of engaging with devolution proposals and in ensuring that we are ready to respond when the next tranche of LGF becomes available.

Productive meeting with Ebbsfleet DC about our working agendas and where they could come together as we work to support development at Ebbsfleet.

Work is on-going to update and improve the information and functionality of the SE LEP website.

East Malling Research (EMR) has become part of the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), this alliance will bring together internationally renowned expertise in crop genetics, agronomy, environmental and data science along with expertise in soft and top fruit research, plant breeding, soil science and biological pest control, thereby creating a major new centre for applied science and innovation in the SE LEP area.

Jargon/Acronym buster

SE LEP: A reminder to our new readers, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) is the business-led, public/private body established to drive economic growth across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Through our Growth Deal with Government, SE LEP will inject almost half a billion pounds worth of public investment into the area.

View Annual Report

BIS: Department for Business innovation and Skills 

LGF: Local Growth Fund is the “single pot” funding that we have for projects supported through our Growth Deal with government – see Spending Review announcement

Growth Hub:  Organisation and Online resources to promote, co-ordinate and deliver local business support and provide a mechanism for integrating national and local business support so it is easy for businesses to access.

DfT: Department for Transport.

DCLG: Department for Communities and Local Government.

DEFRA: the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

ESIF: The European Structural Investment Funds are those available in the SE LEP area for support of business growth, skills and employability. These funds are made up of the European Social Fund (ESF); the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). We don’t hold the funding, but all projects must fit with our strategy.

ESIF Committee: The ESIF Committee is supported by DCLG but is a representative committee for the SE LEP area advising on the strategic fit of all EU funding applications with our ambitions for growth. It is chaired by SELEP Interim Chairman George Kieffer.

RPA: Rural Payments Agency- an executive agency, sponsored by DEFRA to support a thriving farming and food sector. 

SFA: Skills Funding Agency 

SOG: Senior Officers Group comprising lead officers from the county and unitary councils.

SDG: Steer Davies Gleave who are providing the Independent Technical Evaluation of Growth Deal projects and supporting our capital programme management.