‘We’ll continue to serve’ says chair as Dorset LEP prepares to transfer responsibility to council

Cecilia Bufton, chair of Dorset LEP.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: January 15, 2024 | Updated: 15th January 2024

With central government funding for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) across the country set to dry up this April, Dorset LEP chair Cecilia Bufton has laid out her plans for the future of the organisation.

Dorset LEP logoShe assured the county’s business community that the LEP would ‘continue to serve’ as her team look to deliver on their budgeted plan through to March 2025.

Meanwhile, they’ll be preparing to transfer responsibility for the LEP’s core functions – business representation, local economic planning and the delivery of government programmes – to Dorset and BCP Councils.

Throughout that time, the LEP plans to consult with local businesses and ensure the county’s business voice is heard within the decision-making process.

Cecilia BuftonCecilia said: “Since the formation of Dorset LEP in 2011, it’s been our mission to bring together business, education and local government leaders to drive sustainable economic growth in Dorset.

“While the role, remit and funding of Dorset LEP has changed over this time, the central premise of a strong local partnership, bringing different perspectives together with a common goal of securing economic prosperity for our area, has remained constant.

“For now, we carry on with our programme of activities, working in partnership to offer a forum for Dorset businesses to share best practice, develop skills and careers for our young people and drive economic and employment growth. “

Cecilia also pointed to the local and general elections expected later this year, providing businesses the opportunity to work with politicians in addressing a number of current issues facing both county and country – including high interest rates, recruitment challenges and unaffordable house prices.

In light of this, the LEP is set to host a one-day conference, ‘Homes and the Economy’, on 27th February.

It also has programmes in the pipeline to help support business growth, skills and careers in Dorset.

Cecilia concluded: “Thank you to all our partners for their continued support we look forward to continuing to work with you in 2024.”

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