LEP integration: The journey so far

For those areas where April marked a significant milestone in LEP integration, the focus will be on merging teams and activity from a governance, delivery and cultural perspective. Once the dust has settled, it will be essential to plan for regular progress reviews to ensure the success of initiatives can continue to bring forward economic sustainability. How are former LEP functions delivering against the local vision agreed in planning for integration?

We have seen and attended some of the recent LEP AGMs, marking a line in the sand and providing a great opportunity for LEPs to showcase what they have achieved and to promote continuity. This provides a record of and a benchmark for future progress reviews and a chance to look ahead: to target future capacity and attention where they can best add value and to consider how structural and governance changes resulting from integration can positively influence the direction of travel.

Tracking post-integration work should start early on.  A year-one post-integration review will provide a timely opportunity for the newly integrated LEP function to reflect on the progress and success of changes so far and to highlight key areas for focus and development. Our recent roundtable looking at ‘The Future of LEPs: the pathway to successful integration’ highlighted a clear need for a timely review to keep the agenda live and ensure the right balance of local democratic accountability.

What we have heard:

At our recent roundtable, we heard some key thoughts on the importance of progress reviews:

  • The nature of economic development is changing and evolving so there should be positive opportunities ahead that can deliver greater sustainable growth.
  • The organisations change but the people stay the same – some institutional memory remains to protect knowledge and expertise.
  • There will need to be a look back – a 3/6/12 month review of what is working and what isn’t to make sure we don’t lose the learning and let it dissipate.

The visual notes captured by Lim, at 31ten & Shared Intelligence‘s roundtable session – 26th January 2024

The visual notes captured by Lim, at Shared Intelligence 31tens roundtable session – 26th January 2024

Our thoughts:

Progress reviews will be important in a number of ways:

  1. Monitoring performance – to allow stakeholders to assess the performance of LEP integration initiatives against pre-defined goals and objectives and by tracking progress over time, stakeholders can identify areas that may require improvement or adjustment.
  2. Identifying challenges and barriers – an opportunity to identify and address challenges and obstacles that may be impeding the successful rollout of LEP integration initiatives.  This can include issues related to governance, funding, stakeholder engagement and resource allocation.
  3. Course correction – this approach can enable stakeholders to adjust strategies, reallocate resources or implement corrective measures.
  4. Enhancing transparency and accountability – progress reviews promote transparency and accountability and help build trust among stakeholders that resources are being used effectively and in accordance with established goals and objectives.
  5. Learning and knowledge sharing – documenting lessons learned, best practices and peer reviews can facilitate learning and promote continuous improvement.
  6. Demonstrating impact – reporting on progress to demonstrate impact and value to funders and policymakers to help make a compelling case for continued investment.
  7. Securing future funding – positioning to secure opportunities for future funding and investment based on demonstrating impact and value.

Much of the work we do at both Shared Intelligence and 31ten with the public sector involves learning processes, developing evaluation frameworks and applying lessons to improve what happens next.

Our recommendations:

  • Conduct a review in the first 6-9 months post-integration.
  • Plan for review: from the outset develop some indicators of success to enable progress tracking from the start.
  • Start with a self-assessment: we can assist in providing a LEP integration Health-check diagnostic tool to enable this which will highlight progress and RAG rating.
  • Use the RAG rating to identify key areas of focus for future work: picking out areas of prioritisation for funding and resource. We can support with this and facilitate a ‘Peer Review’.
  • Use the robust evidence following peer review to articulate areas of need to central government, continuing to build a case for support for LEPs post-integration.

 

We’re happy to help!

If you are interested in finding out more about how Shared Intelligence and 31ten can support the integration of LEP functions or more specifically help you plan for a post-integration progress review, please get in touch with Lisa via  Lisa.McCance@sharedintelligence.net 

 

This blog concludes our series around the Future of LEPs. If you like to revisit the previous articles in the series, you can find the relevant links below:

    1. How to safeguard the voice of the local business community
    2. An opportunity to align and review economic strategies
    3. Securing tomorrow by ringfencing residual LEP funding for economic growth and development
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