Dales council leaves Sheffield Enterprise Partnership to stay in D2N2

editorial image

Derbyshire Dales District Council has withdrawn from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership in order to continue membership of its Derbyshire counterpart.

The council announced it is to become a member of the Derby Derbyshire Nottingham Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with immediate effect, as of Tuesday, August 20.

Councillor Garry Purdy, leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Councillor Garry Purdy, leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council.

The move comes in response to a Government order that any LEPs with overlapping geography may have funding withheld.

Council leader Garry Purdy said: “Unfortunately we were left with no option on this if we are to comply with the Government’s requirement for the businesses and communities of the Derbyshire Dales to be represented by a single LEP.

“Today’s decision means D2N2 LEP and SCR LEP can remove overlaps and are in a position to finalise their important proposals to the Government.”

LEPs were set up in 2011 to help determine local economic priorities and coordinate responses between public and private sector bodies.

The Government published a review of LEPs’ functions in July 2018, in which it ordered their boundaries be redrawn to reflect “real” functional economic areas.

In recent months, Coun Purdy has held meetings with the chairs and chief executives of both LEPs, and Sheffield Mayor Dan Jarvis.

He has also met the leaders of Derbyshire County Council, Bolsover District Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and Chesterfield Borough Council.

Coun Purdy said: “The decision was particularly difficult as the district’s northern border aligns to Sheffield while the south aligns to Derby and Nottingham.”

He added: “It should be noted that being a member of both D2N2 LEP and SCR LEP in recent years has been of great benefit to the Dales.

“Millions of pounds have been secured for investment in infrastructure, business growth, skills and employment support.”

Coun Purdy has written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to inform him of the council’s decision.

The district council will continue to maintain an active interest in the SCR through its non-constituent membership of the Mayoral Combined Authority.