Monday, September 12, 2011

News: Sheffield City Region LEP to set up inward investment team


The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has approved a more proactive strategy to attract inward investment into the City Region and will establish a focussed sales team.

A recent review, undertaken by the LEP, found that when investors approached any part of the region, the local economic development teams handled the enquiry very well and had a good track record of lead conversion.

The new team will not replace the existing economic development teams in the local authorities but will ensure that potential investors are aware of the City Region and all it has to offer.

David Grey, the private sector Board member of the LEP, who led the review, said: "We need to be more aggressive in taking the City Region's offer to the market. We need to generate more investment leads and then work in partnership to deliver as many of them as possible. It is clear that awareness of all that we have to offer should be much greater, not only in key markets such as London and the South East but also in the highly competitive foreign direct investment market."

The LEP is setting-up a new business development and lead generation team that will be out in the market place and will be reliant on the local teams to work with them to convert any leads they generate. They will be very sales driven and performance managed and it is hoped that they will be funded out of future income generated by the inward investment.

David Grey added: "The Government is making changes as to how local economic development will be funded. One of these changes is that the business rates generated from future development in Enterprise Zones can be retained by the LEPs. Taking a small part of this future income and funding this sales and marketing activity seems an obvious solution to the current funding challenges."

The LEP is now recruiting the director of the team who will be required to develop a full business plan and projected return on investment.

In August the LEP secured £246,000 that will pay for essential staff to develop and deliver the work, and help build a programme of engagement with the local business community.

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership website


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