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Local resources

Local economic development resources

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

BIS policies for economic development can be found at:

Local Growth White Paper: published on 28 October 2010 set out the Government’s approach to sub-national growth including information about Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Regional Growth Fund. It focuses on three key themes: 

  • Shifting power to local communities and businesses – those who understand their economies best should lead their development and enable all places to fulfil their potential;
  • Increasing confidence to invest – create the right conditions for growth through Government allowing market forces to determine where growth takes place and provide incentives which ensure that local communities benefit from development. 
  • Focused intervention – tackling barriers to growth that the market will not address itself, supporting investment that will have a long term impact on growth and supporting areas with long term growth challenges manage their transition to what is appropriate for the local area. Government policies should work with the market, not seek to artificially create growth.

To find out more about Government’s approach to sub-national Growth, download the White Paper (PDF, 1.4 Mb) 

The Regional Growth Fund: is a discretionary £1.4bn Fund that will operate for 3 years between 2011 and 2014 to stimulate enterprise by providing support for projects and programmes with significant potential for creating long term private sector led economic growth and employment. In particular it will help those areas and communities that are currently dependent on the public sector make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity. Details at:

BIS Local Offices: The Government Offices will be closed by 31 March 2011. In future, BIS will have local offices which will:

  • Support BIS Ministerial business including briefing and visits
  • Lead BIS’ relationships with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government to help them understand BIS national policy priorities, assist in coordination of economic development delivery, and help partnerships build their capacity and capability
  • Provide hard and soft intelligence and ensure effective coordination of government responses to economic shocks, including major company failures
  • Maintain strong links with selected large businesses, key sectors and local business bodies, to build local understanding and buy-in to BIS policies, and
  • Provide BIS with the local intelligence needed to understand the impact of policies and contribute to the development of new policies

The West Midlands contact is Ian Smith who can be contacted on:

 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

These were set up by BIS in the Local Growth White Paper. They are led by local authorities and businesses across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.

A map of the LEPs and their boundaries can be found at:

A list of LEP contacts and Board members can be found at:

Local Enterprise Partnerships Network:

The British Chambers of Commerce, working with local business people all around the country, will bring together a new, national network for local enterprise partnerships. Details of announcement in April 2011 at:

Coventry and Warwickshire LEP:

The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP website is at: . The website gives information on the Board, vision, core priorities, access to finance, achievements and news updates.

Birmingham and Solihull LEP: Information on their structure and access to funding can be found on the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce website at:

Black Country LEP: Information, including the ‘State of the Black Country Evidence Report 2011’ and their structure, together with access to funding can be found at:

The Marshes LEP: Information on their aims and structure, together with access to funding can be found on their website at:

Worcestershire LEP: Information on their structure, news, resources and access to funding can be found on their website at:


FE Workforce Strategy - A development for Local Adult Learning Providers: This document supports the Workforce Strategy and can be read at:

Teaching and Learning fairs: LSIS have held four fairs which have proved to be a great success. Read the article at:

RDM Newsletter: The LSIS regional newsletter for April can be read here

Businesslink Business Support Finder

The Business support finder allows you to search for potential sources of help with starting up, running or developing your business. Support may be available in a number of forms, including financial assistance and free or subsidised services which provide advice. It gives information specific to the West Midlands at


The JISC Regional Support Centre supports the embedding of e-learning in teaching and learning across the West Midlands in the Further Education College, Adult and Community Learning, Work-based Learning and aspects of Higher Education. Their website is at:

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action

WCAVA provides information and resources dedicated to supporting the Voluntary and Community Sector in Warwickshire. Their website is at:

Coventry & Warwickshire Infrastructure Consortium

CWIC is a partnership of voluntary sector infrastructure organisations that share their knowledge and experience and collaborate on service delivery, lobbying, funding and purchasing in order to strengthen the capacity and the voice of infrastructure services for the benefit of frontline voluntary and community groups. Their website is at:

Local education and training resources


Marketing Birmingham Ltd

Marketing Birmingham is the city’s successful public/private sector strategic marketing partnership. It gives details of marketing and funding initiatives in Birmingham. Their website is at: . Business news about Birmingham can be found at:

The West Midlands Regional Observatory

Now part of Marketing Birmingham the West Midlands Regional Observatory provides a complete single point of access to data, information and intelligence about the West Midlands region. The site has been the source of research, facts and figures about the West Midlands since 2002. It aims to: Inform Local Enterprise Partnerships - providing expertise and support to help ensure LEP decisions are guided by an objective analysis of the facts; Monitor progress - reporting on the state of the West Midlands and support partners in meeting their data and intelligence needs and People and networks - coordinate community of networking and data groups. Each group focuses on a particular theme, with members drawn from different sectors. Further information can be found at:

Hereford, Worcestershire and Shropshire Training Providers Association

HWSTPA is an association of organisations who work together to improve the quality and supply of work-based skills for business success and individual fulfillment in Hereford, Worcestershire and Shropshire. Their website is at:

Staffordshire Providers Association

SPA provides a communication network for member organisations to improve the quality of learning in line with regional and national developments. Their website is at:

Black Country Training Group

BCTG's role is as a Managing Agent for several highly successful consortia groups operating regionally and nationally. BCTG now work with Partners across England, delivering a range of Skills Funding Agency programmes. Their website is at:

Association of Colleges-West Midlands

The West Midlands page of the AoC lists further education colleges within their region at:

Workers Educational Association-West Midlands

The West Midlands WEA has a map of the area and key study areas and courses at: It is currently offering free online taster courses on Globalisation, Poetry and Millennium Development Goals at:

REDOG-West Midlands

The West Midlands Regional Economic Development Officers Group community website is at: