LEP summit sets forward plans for growth in Lincolnshire

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has held its annual summit in Lincoln on November 8 to set out its forward plans for growth for the region.

Over 160 delegates representing businesses and public sector organisations across the region gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln hotel for the summit.

They heard from Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Lincolnshire Co-operative CEO, who detailed on the strategic priorities of the LEP for the region.

Ruth Carver, the LEP Manager, also spoke about some of the current funding opportunities available for large companies as well as funds for smaller businesses.

Roland Aurich, Chief Executive of Siemens PLC, was the keynote speaker at the GLLEP summit in Lincoln. Photo: Stuart Wilde

Roland Aurich, Chief Executive of Siemens PLC, was the keynote speaker at the GLLEP summit in Lincoln. Photo: Stuart Wilde

The keynote speaker was Roland Aurich, Chief Executive of Siemens PLC, who spoke about the company’s operations in the UK and said the Lincoln operations performed well this year, and they rank among the company’s top presences in the country.

Delegates could also ask questions to the LEP board, a mix of people from public and private sector organisations.

LEP strategic priorities

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “This year we’ve been really motoring forward with some of our projects and funds that we’ve been giving, getting them out to businesses and making connections.

“Some of those are really moving forward now. We have Bifrangi investing in Lincoln, we have the Science Park and a new Growth Fund, so there’s a lot of activity – actually getting money out to businesses, getting building projects going, getting infrastructure in place — it’s great to see all that really happening in the last year.

“For the year to come, we need to get our growth fund in place, the government wants us to come up with a really ambitious, positive deliverable growth plan for Greater Lincolnshire, and if we can do that, then they have promised that we will have significant funds to take forward all the great business ideas we have and to unblock some of the things that are preventing businesses from getting going.

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Lincolnshire Co-operative CEO. Photo: Stuart Wilde

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Lincolnshire Co-operative CEO. Photo: Stuart Wilde

“There’s so much that’s exciting already going on in Greater Lincolnshire, but there’s so much still what we can do, so getting our plan together and input into that, and then delivering it would be our priority for the next year.

“Small businesses are so important to Greater Lincolnshire. They are really the backbone of the county, they provide services, they are the growth potential for the future. The Federation of Small Businesses is represented on our LEP board because it is so important to us.

“We want to help small businesses to make sure they are in the right market, make sure they are equipped to grow, develop and succeed. Broadband is key to that, but so is other infrastructure to getting into networks, making sure all those conditions are right for the small businesses to succeed in this place.

“We think the care sector is one that we really should be getting to grips with. There is an ageing population, people tend to move to Lincolnshire when they retire because it is such a wonderful place.

“There is a big potential there for opportunity for businesses and the public sector to work together to work out what it is that we are going to need in our care sector and how we can provide a decent future for everybody, and also business opportunities in that sector. We think that’s a very fast-growing sector and a very important one for economic and social reasons.”