Surrey forms Local Enterprise Partnership

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A partnership to boost Surrey's economy is to be set up whether or not it gets government approval, bidders say.

Surrey County Council is making a second bid to form a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) after the government asked it to revise its application.

However, those behind the LEP said it would be set up whether or not it is formally recognised.

The government has not yet commented on the plans to set up the partnership, called Surrey Connects.

The partnerships, between councils and businesses, encourages growth by giving firms access to public funds.

The LEPs, which have to be approved by the Department of Communities and Local Government, also set priorities, take action to drive growth and create jobs, and deliver government objectives.

Key priorities

A statement from Surrey County Council said: "The Surrey Economic Partnership (SEP) and Surrey County Council have agreed to establish an LEP whether or not Surrey Connects is formally recognised after Surrey businesses endorsed the move at a meeting last week."

Surrey Economic Partnership chairman Chris Bean said: "We're ready to work with neighbouring LEPs but we're also clear Surrey needs an LEP and we're determined to make this happen."

The revised bid is to be submitted to the government "shortly", Surrey County Council said.

Surrey Connects will meet in a "shadow" form later this month.

Its key priorities include developing transport and super-fast broadband, supporting business start-ups, helping existing businesses, and working to ensure workers have the right skills.

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