A NEW Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in Cheshire and Warrington could transform the local economy, bringing significant benefits for businesses and residents.

In a letter to local authority and business leaders, the Government has announced its intention to create LEPs.

And Cheshire and Warrington have not hesitated to take up the challenge.

A co-ordinated response on behalf of the three authorities in the subregion (Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington) and the Cheshire & Warrington Enterprise Commission (CWEC) have confirmed their intention to bid for an LEP.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, have outlined their aspirations in the letter.

“We are keen to encourage local businesses and councils to work together to develop their proposals for local enterprise partnerships,” they said.

“The coalition Government is determined to re-balance the economy towards the private sector. We regard local enterprise partnerships as central to this vision.”

Robert Davis, chairman of the Enterprise Commission and group chief executive of EA Technology in Capenhurst, said: “We can help to shape the proposed LEP and make sure it meets our needs and enables us to grow our businesses.”

Some functions of these LEPs could be to:

Identify and address local economic priorities.

Create the environment for business growth, including planning, housing, transport and infrastructure priorities, and ensure they are aligned.

Encourage and support enterprise and business start-ups.

Mr Davis added: “If you are running a business in the subregion and have ideas about what the LEPs should focus on then we want to hear from you.”

Outline proposals are to be submitted to the Government by September 6.