A group of councils are set to make a late bid for an east Midlands super local enterprise partnership (LEP), following concerns that smaller bids may be overlooked, LGC has learned.
Senior figures from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire CCs are hoping to persuade their respective city councils, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, and business communities, to join forces and launch a late bid.
The move comes despite the two bids submitted by the region thought to be likely to get the green light.
One bid encompassed Derbyshire and its districts, Derby, Nottinghamshire and its districts and Nottingham; and the other was proposed by Leicester & Leicestershire and its districts.
Sources close to the bid told LGC that there were concerns that the Leicestershire and Leicester bid did not have sufficient critical mass and that “synergies across the sub region” would make the three-county bid a powerful proposition.
There has been much debate about the size of LEPs with business secretary Vince Cable pushing for a smaller number of larger bids and communities secretary Eric Pickles pushing for larger number of smaller bids.
Other examples of so-called super LEP bids came from Kent and Essex CCs. The two south east giants originally ruled out the proposition but made a u turn following ministerial intervention (LGCplus.com/5019003.article).
Earlier this month LGC revealed 22 of the 56 bids for new local enterprise partnerships were set to be given the go ahead by ministers (LGC, 6 October) with a final list expected to be published alongside the sub-national growth white paper, slated for unveiling in the coming weeks.