Recently in LEP's Category
It is the hot-seat that nobody seems to be jumping into.
Robert Hough, the chairman of the outgoing NWDA and former deputy chairman of Peel Holdings, is the latest name linked to the role of chairman of the Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership, according to TheBusinessDesk.com.
Hough, however, is keeping schtum on the subject for the time being. It would be a coup for the LEP to attract such a well-respected regional figure, and it would allow for some continuity between the work of the NWDA and its local Liverpool successor.
But Liverpool's LEP has tried and failed to get its man before. Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy - one of the country's most celebrated businessmen and a local lad - politely turned the role down, despite being many people's first choice.
And Rod Holmes, chairman of The Mersey Partnership and a key figure in the delivery of Grosvenor's Liverpool One, recently told EG that he would not be putting himself forward, despite some tipping him for the role.
The full report, Sink or Swim? What next for local enterprise partnerships? can be read in full here.
In a nutshell, six months on from the formal establishment of LEPs, CfC flags up what it thinks are the powers that the bodies need in order to prove effective and not just talking shops.
Neil McLean, the newly appointed chair, acknowledged the difficulty of not having planning powers or funding but said he believes that with a good enough message and clear priorities, alternative sources of funding will be found.
He talked about sweating some of Leeds' £3bn worth of public sector assets, for example, as well as RGF and TIFs.
Hammerson's director of retail development, Robin Dobson, is slightly cautious about what the LEP can achieve and says clear goals and delivery is key. He acknowledged that he has seen public-private partnerships work in the form of BIDS. The LEP is now working on its key priorities so it can formulate a delivery strategy and McLean is determined that it will be an agile organisation which is responsive to the commercial market.
The overriding message is that the message needs to be clear and delivery swift in order to succeed.
Led by the newly-appointed chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Neil McLean, a group of private and public sector 'senior decision-makers' will be heading to the south of France to promote Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield. I'm led to believe among them will be one familiar face, and MIPIM-veteran, the council's former director of city development, Jean Dent.
As yet there is no detail as to which 'flagship projects and investment opportunities' will be marketed but last year Leeds Arena was one of the featured highlights.
In this story on Yorkshire business desk there is mention of 'business breakfasts in offsite locations' alongside a series of events on the stand in the main exhibition hall and so I await my invites with interest.
* Not going to MIPIM? Having a get together anyway? Send details of your 'not at MIPIM' events to email@example.com and we'll do our best to cover them here on the Focus blog.
Liverpool says no Cannes-do to MIPIM 2011
All aboard Manchester's MIPIM jet
Manchester set to mob MIPIM 2011
Nottingham's MIPIM Robin Hood
The first task for the winners will, no doubt, be sorting out funding. Cable has said that the LEPs will be expected to fund their own running costs. It means going cap in hand to councils already facing tough budget cuts or the private sector. But how easy will it be to convince businesses to give money to organisations that have yet to cut their teeth?
LEPs are unlikely to benefit from the assets held by the soon-to-be defunct Regional Development Agencies as these are being sold off to the highest bidder next year. LEPs can bid for money from the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund, indeed one of their functions will be to co-ordinate bids (see below) but they won't receive any preferential treatment.
The most likely source of public funding will come from Europe as LEPs will be able to bid for grants. However, this in itself raises the question of what happens to those parts of the country not covered by an LEP. Who will have their arm stretched out for them when the EU purse is opened?
And then there is their function. As already mentioned they will be able to bid for European and RGF money for their patches but they won't have planning powers. The white paper gives a list of the anticipated roles which includes: