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Local Enterprise Partnerships

Find out more about funding and connections close to home

Local Enterprise Partnerships are partnerships between local authorities and local businesses – they are responsible for developing and supporting businesses and innovation within a geographical (often a local authority) area.

Set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS), LEPs help determine local economic priorities and support economic growth and job creation. In other words, LEPs carry out some of the functions previously performed by the regional development agencies (RDAs), which were then abolished in 2012.

LEPs are responsible for bidding for central government funding and for leveraging other funding from the private sector and from local partners such as housing associations, universities and colleges. There are currently 38 LEPs (varying in size, capacity and governance) across the UK, each with their own pool of grants and funding opportunities for local small businesses. LEPs can award grants to start-ups and established businesses, for example paying 20-30% of the costs of a planned expansion, the launch of a new product or service, or an initiative to improve productivity.

LEPs also host Enterprise Zones, which are designated areas across the UK where tax breaks and government support are made available for start-ups and growing businesses.

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