1. Strategic Economic Plan
In June 2010, Central Government invited businesses and councils to form Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) around geographical areas that reflect the natural economic areas of England. As a result, the six Berkshire unitary authorities joined the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Since 2010, the LEPs have taken on increased responsibility for significant amounts of Central Government funding, including the Local Growth Fund, which covers the period 2015/16 to 2020/21. Funding for housing, infrastrucutre, skills development and other projects is allocated to the LEPs through a series of Growth Deals.
The Thames Valley Berkshire Strategic Economic Plan sets out the following objectives:
In terms of people:
1: Better use those who are already in the workforce
2: Inspire the next generation and build aspirations and ambition
3: Ensure that economic potential is not restricted by labour supply issues.
In terms of ideas:
4: Ensure that knowledge is effectively commercialised and grown within Thames Valley Berkshire
5: Strengthen networks and invest in the 'soft wiring' to use ideas better
6: Make Thames Valley Berkshire's towns genuine hubs in the ideas economy.
The plan identified 15 investment packages, grouped into four high level programmes that have been designed to deliver these objectives. Delivery will be achieved through a range of funding mechanisms, including the Local Growth Fund.
To date, there have been three Growth Deals:
- Growth Deal 1 (announced in July 2014)
- Growth Deal 2 (announced in January 2015)
- Growth Deal 3 (annouced in February 2017)
The Royal Borough has submitted a number of Local Growth Fund bids via the LEP. Additional information is provided on these schemes in the following pages, together with third party projects for strategic transport infrastructure improvements that affect the Royal Borough.