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Reading 2050: ‘The Current and Future Role of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’ by Tim Smith MBE
Tim Smith MBE from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will give a free Reading 2050 lecture: ‘The Current and Future Role of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP’ on 20 June. Ahead of the lecture, here he gives a taster of what the LEP is, what it does, and how you can get involved.
Over four years into implementing our Strategic Economic Plan we’re now responding to the government’s modern Industrial Strategy by leading on a local Industrial Strategy for Thames Valley Berkshire (BLIS).
The aim is that by March 2020 we will have produced a BLIS that recognises the natural capital of Thames Valley Berkshire while improving productivity and taking an inclusive approach to building prosperity.
The co-ordination of local industrial strategies, guided by a national framework, is a big step forward and one which is welcomed. LEPs are here to sustain economic growth and this is our chance to make a significant difference. Despite being a business-led organisation, we are a public-private-community sector partnership and already entrusted with £218m public funds to drive economic growth in Thames Valley Berkshire.
‘Local’ knowledge and understanding are at the core of effective local industrial strategies. We know the importance of our area, the contribution of – and the challenges to – our economy as well as the need to create spaces for new ideas to develop. We also understand that this is a time of such uncertainty and there is much expectation of economic policy. As the advocate of the area we have a responsibility to respond to this and shape a strategy for the coming decade.
We are working to achieve this, and substantive work has already been done to build a robust evidence base. We have recently published our BLIS Framework Document and this lecture comes just as we’re asking for the support of the business, local authority, community and education sectors in supporting the document.
The essence of being a successful partnership is to be found in the way the LEP develops and fosters relationships and understanding between the many stakeholder organisations. My lecture will set out who we are, what we’re doing, how we’re approaching this challenge and how you can get involved.
You can download the BLIS Framework Document at http://bit.ly/TVBIndustrialStrategy
Tim’s lecture is part of the ‘Economy and Employment’ theme of the Reading 2050 lecture series, which provide a platform to discuss how Reading should evolve into a smarter and more sustainable city by 2050 (www.reading2050.co.uk )
The SBE, Barton Wilmore and Reading UK, established the Reading 2050 group in 2013. The Reading 2050 lecture series is structured around three themes, which underpin the Reading 2050 vision:
*Place and Environment
*People and Lifestyle
*Economy and Employment
In 2017, the School brought together expert speakers to discuss Reading’s heritage and history, the future of its transport and energy and the impact of climate change and floods. A discussion on Reading’s Art and Culture was facilitated in 2018, and there are other Reading 2050 events planned for 2019.