Si has had a number of assignments with the Black Country LEP. We are currently supporting a refresh of the SEP which considers performance over the last few years, a review of the Growth Deal programmes and their range of metrics as well as understanding how the area fits in with the wider geography. Previous assignments include: supporting the drafting of the original SEP taking an extensive evidence base through literature (such as visioning strategies) and data metrics (from a range of existing and new data), supporting the city deal negotiations, drafting the Growth Deal 3 submission and developing a skills and employment strategy.

The nature of our work with the BC LEP has involved data collection, and analysis is provided by the Black Country Consortium’s economic intelligence unit. Our role focuses on facilitating workshops and stakeholder events, developing the narrative and drafting the strategy or submission.

Particular lessons include:

  • Recognising the robustness of an evidence base which is underpinned by deep sector knowledge and a sound spatial analysis, both of which are informed by the best possible data analysis and intelligence;
  • The importance of developing the evidence in an iterative way, sharing and getting quick feedback on early drafts to ensure the correct lines of enquiry;
  • The importance of facilitated discussions at key stages involving different combinations of stakeholders to understand the requirements of the ‘digital library’;
  • The value of a vision underpinned by measurable objectives which can form the core of a performance management process.

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