FOREWORD

A personal message from the Chair

Andrew M. Smith profile picture

THERE IS A REAL MOMENTUM WITHIN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, AND WE ARE DRIVEN TO ENSURE THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY FEELS THE BENEFIT OF THIS PROGRESS. DURING 2020, GOVERNMENT RECOGNISED OUR DELIVERY AS BEING ‘EXCELLENT’ FOR PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE EXECUTION OF OUR OVERALL VISION FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.

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Andrew M. Smith DL
Chair, Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership

I am pleased to introduce this year’s Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP) Annual Report, which captures the diversity and range of activity undertaken by the LEP over the past twelve challenging months and demonstrates the positive economic impact we are all making across Buckinghamshire.

The changes which we have all experienced over the past year have had a profound impact on the economy of Buckinghamshire. The economic impact of Covid-19 will be felt for some time, but the crisis has highlighted the resilience, spirit, adaptability and also opportunities of many of our local firms.

Bucks LEP remains at the forefront of work to ensure local businesses have access to support and advice they need. A significant volume of LEP resource and time has been redirected towards supporting the local and national COVID-19 response. Indeed, Bucks LEP was the first in the country to make available £2 million of funding to support businesses in Buckinghamshire affected by Covid-19.

However, our focus on plans to deliver growth across Buckinghamshire has not changed. We continue to work with partners to work towards the targets in our economic strategy and to continue to deliver the interventions in our Local Industrial Strategy.

There is a real momentum within Buckinghamshire, and we are driven to ensure the local business community feels the benefit of this progress. During 2020, Government recognised our delivery as being ‘excellent’ for projects and programmes which contribute to the execution of our overall vision for Buckinghamshire. Our Buckinghamshire Careers Hub was recognised as the highest achieving in the country by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

But we are not a LEP just delivering what is expected, we are trying to push the county’s business community to new heights and, by successfully applying to deliver additional projects, we are also seeing Buckinghamshire lead the way nationally and even internationally.

Covid has accelerated the urgency of tackling longer-term priorities we had already identified, such as bridging skills gaps and securing more digital inclusion. Initiatives such as the Aviation to Film Skills scheme, supporting previously employed aviation employees at Heathrow airport into the screen industries, and Pinewood Studios support for the Governments Kickstart Scheme are just two examples of our drive to address the skills gaps in our key sectors. “Pinewood Studios is putting our young people centre stage, helping them break into the UK’s world-renowned TV and film industry through the Kickstart Scheme”, said Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment.

While the pandemic has inevitably led to business ambitions being dampened and public projects delayed or reduced, we continue to seek strategic value in delivering assets and services that support long-term growth and recovery.

It is precisely because of these reasons that we launched the Buckinghamshire Economic Recovery Plan. Building on existing support available at national and local levels, the Plan sets out the actions and interventions that we and our partners are bringing forward to help our economy navigate the challenges facing us now and in the future.

The work of the Bucks LEP Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First, continues to help businesses of all sizes right across the area and during the past twelve months have never been more in demand. The pandemic crisis prompted a huge rise in enquiries for business support, especially our advice services and financial help such as grants and loans. Likewise, our Bucks Skills Hub is ensuring our workforce has the right skills and competencies to allow both individuals and organisations to flourish post pandemic. To this end the Bucks Skills Hub launched a new website, which provides a one-stop-shop for all career and skill needs, including support for career development and pathways and crucially during this period, redundancy support, along with latest opportunities in Bucks with 1,000s of live jobs available.

Bucks LEP stands at the heart of the business relationship between Whitehall and our local partners, a network that includes our region’s business associations, higher and further education, and other local area partners. Together, we have combined to form a strong and united approach which reflects our county’s priorities for investment, infrastructure and business support. Bucks LEP is a strong and robust partnership. We have reviewed and improved our governance structures, and this year have welcomed new Board members to support the continued growth of our economy and help our businesses to flourish locally and internationally.

Bucks LEP and its partners have raised Buckinghamshire’s reputation as a great place to do business on a national and global scale, we look forward to continuing to do so in the coming years. Our strengths are diverse, ranging from the space and advanced engineering sectors to the creative industries, all helping to attract inward investment and make Buckinghamshire a better place to live and work.

As I reflect on our achievements, I also look towards the next 12 months with optimism and confidence. There is no doubt that we are operating in uncertain times, but one thing is for sure, we have solid foundations to build upon and through ongoing partnership working and clear targets, I believe we will continue to achieve great things.

I would like to thank the Bucks LEP Board, our executive team, and our numerous partners and stakeholders involved in responding to the Covid-19 crisis, and in making huge strides in driving forward economic growth over the last year, to improve the opportunities and enhance the life choices for the people of Buckinghamshire.

Whilst it is right that this annual report reflects on our achievements in 2020/21, we cannot ignore the significant impact of the covid-19 pandemic on our economy over the past year.

As we begin to understand the impact and challenges unfolding, some of the big strategic plans we have been focusing on are being reshaped but we remain confident that we have already identified the best interventions, projects, and funding, and that by accelerating many of these through recovery plans, we can begin to reverse the negative economic impact as quickly as possible.

The LEP’s core mission is to improve productivity and support inclusive growth and in this annual review you can read more about many of the projects which have benefited from investment to help us achieve these aims. Through a period of economic uncertainty, the LEP has identified opportunities for growth, innovation and collaboration. The LEP’s role in helping businesses grow, seek new markets and innovate has never been more relevant.

Our commitment of over £73m in Local Growth Funds is unleashing ambition and creativity in the county, enabling the delivery of new road and rail infrastructure, better employment and business opportunities and enhancing digital connectivity to support sustainable economic growth in Buckinghamshire.

This year we have seen a flurry of projects come to fruition right across Buckinghamshire. In the past 12 months our Local Growth Fund and now Getting Building Fund investments have helped support the development of the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub; the Satellite Applications Catapult Innovation Centre at Westcott; the Bucks Lifescience & Innovation Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital; and deliver new broadband connections for many rural businesses; along with investment in infrastructure projects such as the High Wycombe Town Centre link road. This performance has enabled Bucks LEP to be graded ‘excellent’ for delivery in the Government’s annual assessment of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

In addition, there has been major growth and development in many of our key projects and schemes, including activity around our three Enterprise Zones at Silverstone Park, Westcott Venture Park and Aylesbury Woodlands to attract and develop new business investment.

During the year we also published Buckinghamshire’s first Local Skills Report, which sets out a detailed action plan for improving skills supply and demand across the county to meet the needs of the local economy.

We recognise that businesses today face many challenges, not least the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, but our primary objective remains very simple, helping companies to grow and secure customers in local, national and international markets. We will continue to focus on helping innovative companies to thrive and create jobs for local people and enhance our position as the entrepreneurial heart of Britain.

More than ever this year, we can be proud of our achievements and I look forward to the coming year where we can build on our solid foundations to further grow the Buckinghamshire economy. But none of our achievements would be possible without an engaged and thoughtful Board, a strong, experienced and hard-working executive team, and the excellent support we receive from our partners. I am extremely grateful to them all.

I hope you enjoy reading this report and finding out more about our achievements and ambitious plans for the future.

FOREWORD

CHIEF EXECUTIVE UPDATE

Richard Harrington CEO Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership Profile

THE LEP’S CORE MISSION IS TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY AND SUPPORT INCLUSIVE GROWTH

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Richard Harrington
CEO Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership

WHO ARE WE?

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership

(Bucks LEP) is one of 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships operating across England, but the only one lucky enough to be responsible for driving the economic growth and sustainable success of this vibrant and exceptionally well-connected county. As a LEP, we are here to provide strategic leadership, connect business with support and act as a catalyst for transformational change. As an ambitious and professional business led collaboration between the private, public and education sectors we work in partnership to deliver a successful strategy for economic growth.

We are considered by Government to be amongst the most successful in terms of our strategic outlook, operational delivery and exceptional reach and insight into the business community.

Our work is primarily concerned with enabling sustainable and productive economic growth through creating more jobs, up-skilling our workforce and by providing the vital supporting infrastructure and housing – read on to find out how are we doing this.

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Building Back A Strong And Successful Economy

This annual report highlights Bucks LEP’s role in re-setting the economy due to the impact of Covid-19 and includes the area’s objectives and reset principles, approach and delivery plan. The report also outlines Bucks LEP’s strategic pillars and priorities to build on the area’s strengths but also identifies the vulnerabilities and barriers which need to be addressed to successfully deliver the organisation’s ambitions for everyone in Buckinghamshire.

Buckinghamshire has a strong economy, which is the number one LEP area for good growth according to the latest Demos-PWC Good Growth Index.

A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER!

In this most exceptional of years, Bucks LEP investment has supported a £2m Recovery and Resilience Fund for Buckinghamshire businesses and its Local Growth Fund investment has helped support the development of the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub; the Satellite Applications Catapult Innovation Centre at Westcott; and deliver new broadband connections for many rural businesses; along with investment in infrastructure projects such as the High Wycombe Town Centre link road. Indeed, Steve Baker MP for High Wycombe, praised Bucks LEP and its Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First, for their sterling work in supporting local business during the pandemic and the tools to ensure their recovery post Covid. Bucks LEP continues to set the standard for others to follow!

But we are not complacent, and despite the impact of Covid-19, we continue to support our high potential businesses and key growth sectors to flourish and grow further and access new national and international markets.

Home to some of the UK’s most iconic business and cultural assets, Pinewood Studios, Silverstone, Stoke Mandeville and Westcott (home to the National Space Propulsion Test Facility), Buckinghamshire is the location of choice for many internationally focused businesses, including Bosch, ESRI, Martin Baker and Instron. Buckinghamshire has traditionally been known as a county of entrepreneurs with more businesses starting, surviving and thriving here than many other areas.

Buckinghamshire has a highly qualified resident population, and the county’s grammar schools are amongst the best performing in the country.

Buckinghamshire is an attractive area in which to live, with a third of the county designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The area has some fantastic locational advantages for business, adjacent to London and Heathrow Airport, skirted by the M25, M1 and M40 and operating as the natural bridge between the Thames Valley and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. New rail connections including the Crossrail and East West Rail links will further enhance Buckinghamshire’s position as a great location for businesses to operate and thrive.

However, our area is not without its challenges, with plenty of competition retaining talent is a perennial quest, our digital infrastructure needs further development, we have experienced slow productivity growth in recent years, and our innovative businesses need further support to grow and reach their full potential.

The Bigger Picture

Our Vision

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise
Partnership’s vision is to…

“CREATE A VIBRANT, BALANCED, COMPETITIVE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ECONOMY. OUR MISSION IS TO CREATE THE CONDITIONS THAT SUPPORT BUSINESS TO INVEST, GROW, AND THRIVE.”

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Our Strategic Objectives

  • To work with public and private sector partners to develop a shared vision for the future of the local economy and to use the LEP Board as a forum for collective discussion and decision making on strategic growth priorities.

  • To agree a prioritised list of investments within the available budget.

  • To make decisions on individual scheme approvals, investment decision making and release of funding, including scrutiny of individual scheme business cases.

  • To identify, monitor and evaluate the delivery of funded projects.

Our Strategic Objectives People

Our Economy

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Sector Specialisms Include:

Creative Industries / Life Sciences / High Performance Engineering / Space / Wholesale / Digital Technologies.

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Our LEP is Blessed With:

Amongst the highest qualified residents in the country

The highest ratio of private to public sector employment in England

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WE ARE THE ENTREPRENEURIAL HEART OF BRITAIN.

Securing Investment

Our primary objective is to mobilise each of Buckinghamshire’s internationally significant economic assets – space, creative, advanced manufacturing and digital health – enabling the growth of clusters of businesses that are pioneers in their fields and raising productivity nationally, regionally and in Buckinghamshire.

Our purpose-built business Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First, is a major strength representing a membership of over 13,000 businesses including almost 70% of the local private sector workforce. Buckinghamshire Business First is making Bucks one of the best places to start, run and grow a business.

We are vital in delivering the national growth agenda. All the evidence suggests that Buckinghamshire, like many other county economies, although rural and without a city, remains a critically important investment channel in underpinning economic growth and national industrial strategy.

“OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS WE HAVE SECURED OVER £100M WORTH OF DIRECT INVESTMENT INTO BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, UNLOCKING A TOTAL INVESTMENT OF OVER £300M.”

Funding Allocation:

Funding is being invested in better transport links, business and innovation space, education facilities and technology:

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7.5km of new strategic road links enabling the delivery of over 11,000 new homes and reducing flood risk to over 1,400 homes

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18km of new cycleways

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New education and training facilities for over 4.500 peoples

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Creating over 5,000 jobs and apprenticeships

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Providing 54,000 premises access to superfast broadband

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Over 229,000 sq. metres of new business and commercial space

BUCKS LEP INVESTING IN RECOVERY

Bucks LEP took the lead to support businesses who started to make plans for how they could recover from the Covid-19 crisis, by making available £2m for new grants to ensure recovery, future resilience and growth. The Buckinghamshire Recovery Investment Fund, provided by Bucks LEP, was part of a coordinated support programme for businesses, to help them not only survive but position themselves to grow and flourish post-Covid. Match-funded grants of between £3,000 and £120,000 were made available to support businesses with innovative projects to help accelerated recovery and support future resilience.

Increasing prosperity and growth – Local Growth Fund

Bucks is a significant wealth generator for the UK economy, and the commitment of over £73m in Local Growth Funds by the LEP is unleashing ambition and creativity in the county. This funding is enabling the delivery of new road infrastructure, employment, education and business opportunities and enhancing digital connectivity to support sustainable economic growth in Buckinghamshire.

There’s certainly plenty to shout about. In the past 12 months Bucks LEP’s Local Growth Fund investment has helped support the development of the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub; the Satellite Applications Catapult Innovation Centre at Westcott; the Bucks Life Science & Innovation Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital; and deliver new broadband connections for many rural businesses; along with investment in infrastructure projects such as the High Wycombe Town Centre link road.

The Local Growth Fund grant has leveraged over £119m match funding generating a capital programme value of over £192 million.

Our performance in supporting investment and in setting an ambitious strategic economic direction together with sound and transparent governance principles have meant that we have always been respected and seen as an essential partner by business our local community and government. Indeed, this performance in our Local Growth Fund has enabled Bucks LEP to be graded ‘excellent’ for delivery in the Government’s annual assessment of Local Enterprise Partnerships!

New world-leading hub for the space sector takes off

The UK space sector took a significant step forward with the opening of a new state of the art Innovation Centre at Westcott in Buckinghamshire, thanks to £2m Local Growth Funding from Bucks LEP. Situated on the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, the Westcott Innovation Centre’s new 1,200m2 facility is an important step towards delivering a world-leading hub for the space sector in the heart of Buckinghamshire, which has the potential to help lead innovation for years to come in the fields of space propulsion and drone technologies.

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Firing up major investment – Growing Places Fund

Bucks LEP is investing, recycling and re-investing its £8.1m Growing Places Fund on projects that offer great returns for Bucks on jobs, business-critical infrastructure and growth.

We have already demonstrated our ability to deliver an ambitious programme. 100% of our Growing Places Funding has been used to kick-start the regeneration of the town centres and access gateways in Aylesbury and High Wycombe, as well as supporting tourism and Bucks LEP’s skills and wider growth programmes.

Bucks gets building – Getting Building Fund

Bucks LEP is seeing rapid progress in the nine key projects allocated £7.7m of the Governments Getting Building Fund to support economic growth in Buckinghamshire. This investment into ‘shovel-ready’ projects in Buckinghamshire will accelerate economic growth and support jobs.

“OUR MOST INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIES WILL BENEFIT FROM THE GOVERNMENT’S INVESTMENT IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE AS PART OF THE PLAN TO HELP GET BRITAIN BUILDING. THIS WILL STRENGTHEN THE COUNTY’S CONNECTIVITY AND CREATIVITY, HELP DRIVE THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND SUPPORT JOBS.”

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage MP.

THE 10 PROJECTS TO BENEFIT FROM FUNDING, ARE:

1. Satellite Applications Catapult – The Westcott Disruptive Innovation Space Centre

2. Buckinghamshire Council, BDUK – The Rural Broadband Programme

3. European Astrotech Ltd – Centre of Excellence for Rocket Engine and Flow Tests Facility

4. Buckinghamshire Council – Bucks Rural Broadband Voucher Top Up

5. Satellite Applications Catapult – Innovation Ecosystem at Westcott

6. Flannery Plant Hire Ltd – Bucks Operator Skills Hub

7. URA Thrusters Ltd – TESTA – Novel Test Facility at Westcott

8. LUNAZ Group – LUNAZ Applied Technologies

9. England’s Economic Heartland – East West Rail-Fibre Provision Upgrade

10. D2H Advanced Technologies – Advanced Braking Facility

European funding continues to secure jobs and growth in Bucks

The 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) bring the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) together into a single Growth Programme for England. This supports our key growth priorities of innovation, research and development, support for small and medium sized enterprises, low carbon, skills, employment, and social inclusion.

Businesses and communities across Buckinghamshire have benefited from £10.9m of European funding, secured by Bucks LEP, for growth and jobs.

Projects supported by this funding include:

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Skills Brokerage Service

Identifying training opportunities to increase the productivity of over 1,000 Buckinghamshire based businesses.

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Low Carbon Workspaces

Awards grants between £1,000 and £5,000 to help small to medium sized business enterprises (SME) in Buckinghamshire install energy saving projects.

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Business Incubation Space

Our European programme funding has enabled business incubation and support services to be established in High Wycombe, Stoke Mandeville and at Westcott, providing invaluable support for start-ups and growing businesses in the health, social care and space and rocket propulsion sectors.

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Halo Growth Programme

Businesses can access either tailored business growth advice or £1,000 Growth Grants.

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Rural Funding

Awards to support the development and diversification in our rural and tourism businesses.

At the forefront of innovation

(By Professor James Tooley, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham)

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“SINCE ITS INCEPTION, THE UNIVERSITY OF BUCKINGHAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION, SO ITS RESPONSE TO LOCKDOWNS AND POST-LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN CHARACTERISTIC OF ITS ENTREPRENEURIALISM.”

Nearly 50 years ago, the pioneers who created the University College of Buckingham, as it was then, noted that some students were unhappy that universities closed their doors for three months in the summer. So, they created the first ever two-year degrees.

With an extra term during the summer months, the University was able to condense the time required to fulfil degree requirements, without students missing out on any teaching time. The regulatory body, however, insisted that degrees were for three years not two, and refused to recognise our output. Undeterred, the University negotiated with professional associations and other universities to recognise our “licenses” as equivalent to degrees. It worked, with our graduates gaining access to the professions and higher degree opportunities elsewhere. Eventually we got our Royal Charter in 1983, and with it full degree-awarding powers in perpetuity.

This innovative streak has continued, with the University of Buckingham’s first private Medical School to open for a hundred years or more. When the first lockdown was announced at the end of March 2020 and it became clear that face-to-face teaching and learning was no longer possible, we had two weeks to move all of our teaching online before the Spring Term started in April. It turned out that our signature small-group tutorials lent themselves relatively well to Teams and Zoom. Initially we also simply transferred our lectures across to online delivery. But this was less than satisfactory. It was much harder to engage students for a one hour – or sometimes longer – lecture online than in person. So, we experimented with different approaches and came up with several new models, including delivering the content in 15-minute bite-size chunks, with online quizzes and polls to check understanding before proceeding.

Many of the University’s academics feel that the potential of online delivery has been a silver lining to lockdown’s clouds. There is enthusiasm for hybrid online/face-to-face models of learning moving forward, and for exploring new markets for entirely online learning.

I am not entirely convinced, when lockdowns come to an end here in the UK, and other countries follow suit, it may be that the most innovative and entrepreneurial thing that the University of Buckingham can do is to return to fully face-to-face teaching and learning as quickly as possible: I am writing from my office at the University of Buckingham where, very unusually, several people came in for face-to-face meetings today.

The experience is entirely different – and so much better – than the online meetings we’ve all grown accustomed to. For students too, the buzz and energy, excitement even, of engaging with real people in a physical room may completely outweigh any of the acknowledged benefits of online learning. A university that moves as quickly as possible to embrace this possibility may be the one that is considered most in tune with the times when we come to judge how higher education fared during this crisis.

An enabler for growth

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership is an enabling body which seeks to create a business-friendly environment in which organisations can succeed. We have worked with our partners to identify an approach for directing and prioritising our activity and achieving improved business productivity.

As a result of this approach, we have achieved great success during 2020/21.

A summary of achievements 2020/21

Spring

An Enabler For Growth Spring 01

Bucks LEP made available £2m additional funding to support businesses in Buckinghamshire affected by the Covid-19 crisis – one of the first LEPs to announce such funding.

An Enabler For Growth Spring 02

Bucks LEP’s Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First, joined forces with nine other countries to work jointly on a new initiative called Inno Industry, which is helping businesses to embrace digital technologies such as Big Data and AI.

An Enabler For Growth Spring 03

Bucks LEP supported the 2020 Buckinghamshire Business Festival organised by our Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First.

An Enabler For Growth Spring 04

Supported the Visit Buckinghamshire & The Chilterns new series of tourism and hospitality masterclasses to improve business performance through joint learning, sharing and collaborating.

An Enabler For Growth Spring 05

Bucks LEP launched its new website to provide latest information on key developments across Buckinghamshire’s Enterprise Zones.

An Enabler For Growth Spring 06

Bucks LEP were delighted to support the launch of two new Innovation Centres in Buckinghamshire with £2.62m Local Growth Funding, to provide a thriving eco-system for early-stage health, technology and digital businesses to grow.

Summer

An Enabler For Growth Summer 01

Bucks LEP made available £2m funding to provide new grants up to £120,000 to support businesses looking to invest in resilience, repurposing or recovery initiatives as they prepare to overcome the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis.

An Enabler For Growth Summer 02

The Government’s annual assessment of Local Enterprise Partnerships awarded Bucks LEP with ‘exceptional’ for its delivery.

An Enabler For Growth Summer 03

Supported the Visit Buckinghamshire & The Chilterns bespoke support package to help businesses survive and be ready to bounce back post Covid-19.

An Enabler For Growth Summer 04

Bucks LEP established a redundancy task force to support people who have lost their jobs or are looking for new opportunities due to the Covid-19.

An Enabler For Growth Summer 05

Bucks LEP rapidly progressing projects allocated £7.7m of the Governments Getting Building Fund.

An Enabler For Growth Summer 06

Jobseekers previously employed in the aviation industry at Heathrow airport will be supported to transfer their skills into the screen industries, thanks to an initiative, Aviation to Film Skills, supported by Bucks LEP and Pinewood Studios.

Autumn

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 01

Launched the Bucks LEP funded Westcott Innovation Centre, to deliver a world-leading hub for the space sector in the heart of Bucks.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 02

Bucks LEP and partners officially opened a new multi-million-pound roundabout project to improve traffic flow and unlock potential for growth at Westcott Enterprise Zone.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 03

Bucks LEP chair, Andrew M. Smith, was appointed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to the new creative industries Trade Advisory Group, as part of a major new business engagement drive designed to support the UK’s ambitious trade negotiation.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 04

More than 750 rural homes and businesses get gigabit-capable broadband by December 2021 as part of a £2.1 million scheme supported by Bucks LEP.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 05

Over 5,000 young people took part in the first virtual Bucks Skills Show to gain invaluable careers advice from inspirational speakers including McAfee, Esri, Capgemini and BAM Construction who demonstrated how the curriculum is used in their every-day-jobs.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 06

Supported Buckinghamshire Business First to deliver new Covid funding, support and advice.

An Enabler For Growth Autumn 07

Bucks Skills Hub developed a new redundancy support site on the Buckinghamshire Business First website with information on support and services available for businesses and individuals affected by redundancy.

Winter

An Enabler For Growth Winter 01

Completion of construction of a new National Space Propulsion Test Facility at Westcott Enterprise Zone to open up the next stage in the evolution of the site to attract new business and investment.

An Enabler For Growth Winter 02

Bucks LEP delighted to sponsor the Covid Innovation Award at the launch of the 2021 Bucks Business Awards.

An Enabler For Growth Winter 03

.Launched the first ever Buckinghamshire Local Skills Report, which is the ‘go-to’ document for everything skills-related within Buckinghamshire

An Enabler For Growth Winter 04

Hosted a roundtable with the Buckinghamshire MPs to support innovation and growth within the Health Technology Sector.

An Enabler For Growth Winter 05

Conducted our first Business Barometer survey, a quarterly look into the issues that are relevant now to our business community.

Our business plans

Buckinghamshire’s economic position, despite the Covid-19 crisis, remains strong with high rates of economic participation, low unemployment, a well skilled workforce and a strong enterprise base, compared to many other parts of the country.

Our Strategic Economic Plan highlights local aims to deliver increased prosperity and jobs for Buckinghamshire by putting any available funds to work, focusing on better transport connectivity, helping businesses to grow faster, and bringing business and education together more fruitfully.

Boost to Buck’s broadband

More than 750 rural homes and businesses will get gigabit-capable broadband by December 2021 as part of a £2.1 million scheme, supported by Bucks LEP and partners Buckinghamshire Council and Openreach, to extend the fibre-optic network further into Buckinghamshire’s countryside. Buckinghamshire has one of the highest percentages of small businesses of any council area, and they make a significant contribution to the national economy, Bucks LEP is therefore delighted to support this project in its aim to provide better connectivity to poor served businesses, especially as we look past COVID-19 and the changes to workplace models we are seeing. Since 2013 superfast broadband has been connected to more than 50,000 homes and businesses in the county, and 96.4% of premises now have superfast broadband speeds – up from 68.3% when the work began in 2013!

What we aim to do

The focus for Bucks LEP is in preparing the ground for continued prosperity through enabling sustainable economic growth:

Our Business Plans icon 1 economic growth

To get the right economic growth decisions taken more quickly

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To stimulate more smart and sustainable business growth in the county

Our Business Plans icon 3 business critical infrastructure

To bring forward the necessary business-critical infrastructure

Our Business Plans icon 4 investment for growth

To secure the inward investment needed to underpin growth

Our Business Plans icon 5 skilled flexible workforce

To ensure the supply of the skilled, flexible workforce needed by our firms

We use Bucks LEP’s powerful national, regional and local voice to ensure that critical infrastructure is delivered on schedule. We are currently supporting the case to advance development for business-critical national infrastructure projects such as East West Rail and the expansion of Heathrow airport.

Our strength and depth of business support and leadership sets us apart:

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Through the Buckinghamshire Business First network we have links to the business community unparalleled in any other LEP

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We are small, flexible and proactive

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We can spot and react to business needs quickly

Strategic Economic Plan

Our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for Buckinghamshire reflects the government’s policy for local economic growth, the UK Industrial Strategy framework, the work of England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance and the changed local planning conditions.

Our SEP sets out ambitions to 2031 to drive innovation and accelerated economic growth to meet the needs of our economy and place Buckinghamshire at the forefront of the UK’s global growth ambitions.

The SEP will do this by supporting four main strategic priorities:

01 Strategic Economic Plan icon Business Growth and Innovation

Business Growth and Innovation

02 Strategic Economic Plan icon Skills and Talent

Skills and Talent

03 Strategic Economic Plan icon Connectivity

Connectivity

04 Strategic Economic Plan icon Town Centre Regeneration

Town Centre Regeneration

Economic Plan To Super-charge Bucks

As one of the first trailblazing Local Industrial Strategies in the country, the strategy is driving the Buckinghamshire economy to further increase
innovation, support international trade, improve connectivity and set out how the area will maximise economic opportunities.

The Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy focuses on strengthening and exploiting the county’s most important economic assets – including Silverstone, Pinewood Studios, and Westcott Space Cluster – assets that are distinctive to Buckinghamshire and are significant nationally and internationally.

The Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy builds on its four big economic assets in the space, creative, advanced engineering and digital health sectors.

Economic plan to super-charge Bucks

This includes:

  • Along-term investment plan for Westcott Space Cluster to develop new research and development facilities and a base manufacturing excellence in space propulsion and in-orbit maintenance, and to address skills shortages for technicians and propulsion test specialists.

  • A new Screen Industries Global Growth Hubat Pinewood Studios to provide support to creative businesses to be operated by Bucks Business First.

  • Using Silverstone Park and technology cluster to stimulate high tech cross overs, supporting emerging technologies through improving links between firms, improving links between businesses and universities, and improving networking across the region.

  • Digital health, med-tech and advanced artificial intelligence – building on assets including Stoke Mandeville Spinal Centre and Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre.

Goodfabs Helps Get Covid-19 Ventilators Up And Running

(By Neil Morgan, Managing Director of Good Fabrications Ltd – a member of Buckinghamshire Business First)

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“I WAS STILL IN BED ON THE MORNING OF SUNDAY APRIL 7TH (2020) WHEN THE PHONE RANG. IT WAS AN OLD FRIEND, ASKING WHETHER WE COULD HELP BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST MAKE A MISSING PART FOR SOME MUCH-NEEDED VENTILATORS THAT HAD ARRIVED AT STOKE MANDEVILLE HOSPITAL.”

The ventilators in question can be used anywhere, but there are many types of connectors that connect to oxygen and air supplies, and these vary by country. These ventilators had arrived with no oxygen connectors. As MD of GoodFabs – a long time supplier of performance exhausts to Formula 1 –
my friend thought I might be able to help.

Facing a quiet week with a 30-person engineering company on full furlough, it was a chance to help the NHS and by midday Sunday we had physical parts to copy, but only for 12 hours as they were taken from a working ventilator.

The process required to copy the parts involved a laser scanning arm used in our inspection department and someone to translate the results into CAD drawings. With all the correct dimensions a machinist would be able turn and mill the connector from medical grade stainless steel. We also needed to design a tool that could also be quickly machined to facilitate the fabrication of 40 brackets that would secure the oxygen connectors in place. We also had to make the specialist bolts that would secure them.

That Sunday I made a few calls to the staff who would be needed to volunteer their time at short notice to help-out and received resounding support from everyone.

By Sunday night one of our inspection team had scanned and drawn up the parts in CAD. By Monday we had the tool designed that was needed to fabricate the bracket. On Monday and Tuesday the oxygen connectors and bolts were machined, and the brackets pressed out and drilled. On Wednesday lunchtime – 72 hours after having received the part to copy – 40 sets of connectors and brackets were delivered to the Clinical Engineer at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust who was responsible for deploying the ventilators into the Stoke Mandeville ICU wards prior to the Easter weekend. The whole job had involved six staff who volunteered their time whenever it was needed over a period of three days.

Our involvement with the clinical engineering team at Stoke Mandeville continues. Following the oxygen shortage at Watford General Hospital in early April we were asked to build a prototype of a discontinued non-invasive ventilator known for its reliability and low oxygen use. Although the present demand for ventilators has passed, this device may well be brought back into production for use in future pandemic planning.

For more information on GoodFabs please visit:

www.goodfabs.com

Business-Led And Focused

Buckinghamshire LEP is business-led and focused, which includes a predominantly Private Sector Board and over 13,000 businesses now engaged with our Local Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First.

Our strategy and projects have been shaped by thousands of local business leaders through their direct involvement with Buckinghamshire Business First; at regular roundtable ‘Think Tank’ events, Business Leaders’ Dinners, workshops and a multitude of other networking opportunities.

Buckinghamshire Business First have never been more in demand than over the past year. The pandemic crisis prompted a huge rise in enquiries for business support, especially advice services and financial help through grants and loans. Acutely aware that a rapid, properly targeted response can make the difference between a business staying afloat or going under, Buckinghamshire Business First refocused their resources around the most pressing needs of businesses in all sectors, to ensure they not only survived but positioned themselves for recovery.

Our Business Growth Hub is the envy of almost every Local Enterprise Partnership in England, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, it has been another successful year for top performing Buckinghamshire Business First.

There’s plenty to shout about, having delivered £7m in grants to businesses, provided over 60,000 business support interactions, and facilitated over 800 new jobs through their activity over the past 12 months. Representing more than 30% of the county’s businesses, and more than 70% of the county’s private sector employees, Buckinghamshire Business First continues to set the standard for others to follow.

Bucks Business First Supporting Businesses During Pandemic

Buckinghamshire Business First was the first port of call for hundreds of businesses when the crisis hit and has been able to help organisations find their way through the mass of support available to find what is appropriate for them and to support planning for recovery. Indeed, at the hight of the first Covid outbreak between March-May 2020, the Growth Hub supported over 3,000 businesses, double the amount during the same period the previous year. Buckinghamshire Business First was also ideally placed to update businesses on opportunities for them to help in areas of need for the NHS and other bodies, with over 500 offers of support from the private business sector. One of those businesses was Global Infusion Group (GIG), experts in the delivery of global catering and event services, who adapted their activity by providing over 1,000 meals a day to 15 NHS sites in Bucks.

Delivery Partnerships

Buckinghamshire Advantage, our joint delivery vehicle, has bridged the gap between public and private sectors. Its mission is to identify new opportunities, remove barriers to sustainable development and add value to planned development by promoting growth.

Buckinghamshire Advantage has accelerated the development and delivery of a variety of projects and schemes, including the Aylesbury Woodlands mixed use development covering over 200ha of employment led development to the east of Aylesbury, providing much needed new road infrastructure and supporting the growth of the Aylesbury Garden Town programme.

Celebration Of Business In The Entrepreneurial Heart Of Britain

This year’s Buckinghamshire Business Festival, organised by our Growth Hub, Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF), was another great success despite being online! The Buckinghamshire Business Festival, which took place earlier this year, offered businesses fantastic opportunities to raise their profile, show off their products, services and innovations. This year’s festival included 36 events run by 25 different BBF members covering a wide range of topics, with the highlight event ‘The Business Leaders’ Network’ welcoming 57 top business leaders.

Capitalising on the momentum achieved since its formation in 2011 our growth hub in 2020/21 delivered

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61,673 business assists

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307 Events

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266 New Products/Services to Market

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804 Jobs Created

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£6,852,333 Awarded in Grant Funding

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91 INDIVIDUALS SUPPORTED WITH START-UP BUSINESS ADVICE

Enterprise Zones taking Bucks beyond the final frontier

“THROUGH THE LOCAL GROWTH FUND, WE HAVE INVESTED £2M IN THE WESTCOTT INNOVATION CENTRE – AN IMPORTANT EXAMPLE OF THIS GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO BECOMING A WORLD LEADER IN THE SPACE SECTOR WHILE LEVELLING UP JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR REGIONS.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government.

Since 2016 the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone has provided an enormous boost to help Buckinghamshire grow its existing businesses and attract and accelerate new investment in key business sectors at Bucks LEP’s three strategically important Enterprise Zone sites.

The scale and special nature of the developments, the mix of uses and its highly strategic position, enables the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone sites to compete nationally and internationally as major employment locations.

In the space of five years Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone has provided an enormous boost to attract and accelerate new investment in key business sectors. The sites at Silverstone Park, Westcott Park and at Aylesbury Woodlands are driving forward the Buckinghamshire economy in the high-performance engineering, space technology, creative industries and life sciences sectors – all critical to the national economy and, just as importantly, securing business rate returns to be reinvested into the local economy. Since Enterprise Zone status was granted to these three sites in 2016, there has been major growth and investment, resulting in: 70,005m2 of employment floorspace completed; 36 new businesses established; over 400 jobs created; more than £120m private sector investment; and £11m project funding committed from EZ retained business rates to support the growth of the Enterprise Zone.

Working with our Enterprise Zone partners – MEPC, Patrizia and Tritax Symmetry – there are currently exciting investment and development opportunities across all of our sites.

To find out about the latest information on the activities of the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone please go to our new website at:

www.aylesburyvaleez.co.uk
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New National Space Propulsion Test Facility At Westcott Enterprise Zone To Propel Uk Into New Space Age

Based in Bucks LEP’s Enterprise Zone, the newly opened test facility will create around 60 jobs and offer companies a more affordable test facility than international rivals. The National Space Propulsion Test Facility at Westcott is a key step towards delivering a world-leading hub for the space sector in the heart of Bucks, which opens up the next stage in the evolution of the site to attract new business and investment. Westcott is recognised as an integral part of the UK space sector growth strategy, which includes the Westcott Innovation Centre, a 5G Step-Out Test Facility and Incubation Centre and is planned to include a Disruptive Innovative Space Centre and Skills Academy for specialist testing and ‘hands on’ educational opportunities, ranging from apprenticeships to PHD level and providing reskilling opportunities.

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Ensuring Businesses Have The Right Skilled Workforce

Bucks LEP’s Skills Hub acts as a first stop shop providing support for workforce development, career pathways and recruitment training plans, and crucially at this time, redundancy support. In response, the Bucks Skills Hub has been expanding its resources and growing its team, and a new redundancy support section has been developed on the Buckinghamshire Business First website along with a brand-new new Bucks Skills Hub (www.bucksskillshub.org) website.

The Bucks Skills Hub, by working with local schools and colleges, is connecting young people with business to develop a dynamic programme of employer engagement. An effective ecosystem of skills development and careers inspiration is evolving. While the careers inspiration work is broad, there is a focus on our identified growth sectors ensuring that young people’s ambitions are aligned to where they will be needed most.

Skills development is central to creating the conditions for sustained innovation, excellence and growth for our Buckinghamshire businesses, particularly in priority sectors as described in our Local Industrial Strategy.

Some recent highlights include: the development of the Bucks Skills Show as the essential event to inform young people about career opportunities; becoming only the second area in the country to have Enterprise Adviser coverage in all secondary schools; development of an extensive apprenticeship support programme – all leading to the Buckinghamshire Careers Hub being recognised as the highest achieving in the country by the Careers and Incubation Centre, with work commencing on a Disruptive Enterprise Company.

“THIS (THE BUCKS SKILLS SHOW) SHOWS THAT WE SHOULD NOT SEE EDUCATION IN ISOLATION FROM THE REST OF THE ECONOMY OR THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY, BECAUSE ALL THOSE ELEMENTS, BY WORKING TOGETHER, PROVIDE SO MUCH MORE OPPORTUNITY. THAT IS A BRILLIANT EXAMPLE OF HOW PEOPLE CAN INSPIRE CHILDREN TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM HAS A REAL RELEVANCE TO THE WORLD OF WORK, GIVING THEM THE ENTHUSIASM TO LOOK AT DIFFERENT CAREERS AND DIFFERENT OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE CONSIDERED BEFORE.”

Secretary of State for Education.

Launch of new website for all skills and career needs

Bucks LEP is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new website, which provides a one-stop shop for all career and skill needs, including support for career development and pathways, and redundancy support, along with latest opportunities in Bucks with 1,000s of live jobs available! The new Bucks Skills Hub website, funded by Bucks LEP as part of its Covid Recovery Programme, provides all the support for people to navigate the many paths available to them from higher and further education to training, apprenticeships and employment.

Visit:

www.bucksskillshub.org

Underpinning the skills programme is robust research which proves that exposing young people to at least four encounters with employers during their school career reduces their chances of leaving education or training without a job and increases their earning potential.

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Top marks to Bucks Skills Show for inspiring students in challenging times!

The annual Bucks Skills Show is the county’s largest interactive and experiential skills festival. This year’s event which was delivered virtually, attracted over 5,000 visitors. Helping motivate students after lockdown, demonstrate why subjects are relevant to real life and inspire young people to be positive about their futures. The event included inspirational speakers from businesses such as McAfee, Esri, Capgemini and BAM Construction who demonstrated how the curriculum is used in their every-day-job.

7th highest qualified
2nd Highest Proportion
19 percent employment
59 percent of Bucks workforce
bucks local skills report

First of its kind report highlights Bucks’ skills priorities

Bucks LEP is delighted to launch the first ever Buckinghamshire Local Skills Report, which is the ‘go-to’ document for everything skills-related within Buckinghamshire, bringing together evidence, strategy, information on current and planned initiatives and examples of best practice. The 2021 report provides an analysis of Buck’s skills and employment needs, identifies the priorities for public investment and sets out an action plan for skills development within the county for 2021/22.

The development of the report was steered by the Buckinghamshire Skills Advisory Panel (SAP), which met six times in 2020/21. The SAP (which is accountable to the LEP) provides a leadership role on skills issues across Buckinghamshire.

Read the report

Space-enabled Innovation at Westcott

(By Izzy Taylor, Marketing Manager, Satellite Applications Catapult)

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“WITH A STRONG HERITAGE IN ROCKET PROPULSION, WESTCOTT VENTURE PARK CONTINUES TO BE A VIBRANT HUB OF SPACE-RELATED ACTIVITIES. AS WELL AS PROPULSION COMPANIES, THE WESTCOTT SPACE CLUSTER IS NOW ALSO HOME TO BUSINESSES UTILISING SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS, POSITIONING AND IMAGERY TECHNOLOGY IN A VAST RANGE OF SECTORS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AGRICULTURE, AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS, EMERGENCY SERVICES, AND HEALTH AND WELLBEING.”

Since arriving at Westcott Enterprise Zone in 2018, with support from Bucks LEP, the Satellite Applications Catapult has been supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to establish and grow within the space sector. Our Westcott journey began with the Business Incubation Centre (BIC) and 5G Centre, has since expanded to include an Innovation Centre, and is now at an exciting new stage of development to expand our collaboration opportunities.

Behind the scenes of our physical presence at Westcott is not only the wide range of expertise in colleagues you will see if you visit us on site, but also a strong force of additional business and technical experience at the Catapult’s head office in Harwell. We strongly believe that collaboration is key to innovation, and in working together across our business and with partners such as Buckinghamshire LEP and Westcott Venture Park, we are seeing successes within many start-ups and SMEs.

We have had the pleasure of working with really exciting companies at Westcott and due to our network and reach and have introduced some to large projects, initiatives, and institutions that otherwise they would not have been able to be exposed to. We welcome both space and non-space organisations to have a look on our websites for how we can innovate together and get in touch with us.

In 2020 we launched the Innovation Centre which is part funded by the Local Growth Fund and Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, via Buckinghamshire LEP. Despite being launched during the pandemic, this engineering prototyping facility is now a hub of activity with OneWeb’s Service Demo Centre, two Living Labs focusing on health and agriculture, and a vast array of manufacturing equipment and clean rooms available for businesses to hire from as little as a day up to long term use. We also have a space for companies to take up shared desk facilities.

Soon we will be sharing details of further expansions to our capabilities based at Westcott, allowing businesses even more commercialisation opportunities with the ability to grow ideas to prototypes, test and build all within the Space Cluster.

To find out more about the Catapult, please visit our website:

sa.catapult.org.uk

Looking to a brighter future for Bucks!

What’s next for Bucks LEP in 2021/22 and beyond?

We are very excited about developing further collaboration and research capacity within our priority sectors. The iconic locations of Pinewood Studios and Silverstone are now the focus for new business collaboration, along with our vibrant clusters in the fields of high-performance technology and film and creative industries.

For example, Bucks LEP is delighted to provide £4 million in funding to support three initiatives – ‘The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling’, ‘School of Computing and Centre for AI’ and ‘Bucks Creates @ Pinewood’ – to strengthen and build Buckinghamshire’s creative sector, a key growth driver of the local economy. In addition, a new initiative by Bucks LEP, ScreenSkills, Pinewood Studios and Enterprise M3 LEP ‘Skills to Screen: Aviation programme’, is providing the opportunity to support many of those highly skilled workers in the aviation industry to transfer their skills to world-class screen industries based at Pinewood Studios and across this rapidly growing sector of the economy in Buckinghamshire.

We are also working alongside the UK Space Agency on the National Space Propulsion Test Facility and with the Satellite Applications Catapult on its Disruptive Innovation for Space Centre both at our Westcott Enterprise Zone, and developing integrated healthcare solutions to reduce the burden on our national health service with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Bucks New University and leading technology and life-science companies.

Bucks the centre of innovation

Developing entrepreneurship is core to Bucks LEP’s DNA and the new Innovation Centre at our Westcott Enterprise Zone is a vital hub for new innovation and local growth. The Bucks LEP funded Innovation Centre, launched at the globally recognised Westcott Space Cluster, will complement the new 5G Step-Out Centre and the Westcott Business Incubation Centre.

The new 1,200m2 office and engineering training facility, situated on our Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone site, will dramatically improve the facilities at Westcott for innovative space companies, providing ‘grow-on’ space to fuel their next stage of expansion and develop into a dynamic community of space organisations.

In addition, collaboration with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Bucks New University, and Bucks LEP investment of £1.3m has established two new business incubation hubs, one at Wycombe University and most recently at Stoke Mandeville Hosptial, linking business to clinical research and healthcare services. Centres specialise in spinal injury and upper limb prosthetic technologies and rehabilitation, creating investment opportunities and jobs in specialist healthcare sectors.

This Local Growth Fund investment links closely with the aims of our Local Industrial Strategy, to act as a catalyst for working our economic assets harder with a view to creating more opportunity, more collaboration between sectors and more productivity.

Infrastructure for growth

Infrastructure investment is essential for the continued delivery of economic growth in Buckinghamshire. That is why Bucks LEP is investing in major transport infrastructure, including the A355 improvement scheme, Aylesbury Eastern Link Road, High Wycombe Southern Transport Scheme, and Stoke Mandeville Relief Road, fixing utility constraints that prevent commercial site developments and unblocking major commercial property investments which support the needs of business.

In addition, our involvement in the Greater South East Energy Hub is delivering local energy projects to aid the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy, through the provision of renewable energy infrastructure and application of new technologies.

The future is digital

Digital connectivity has never been more critical to businesses and residents alike. As a direct result of Covid-19, businesses have changed operating models to keep serving their customers, and ensure their employees are able to continue working wherever possible, largely through digital means; whilst residents continue to socialise, work and communicate online. With many companies stating that they will not go back to the office full time, the need for good digital connectivity across the county is vital to allow residents to continue to work flexibly from their homes, wherever possible.

Buckinghamshire LEP is proud to state that its support of the digital programme has currently delivered over 52,000 superfast broadband connections in Buckinghamshire since 2013. Our teams have supported over 1,300 rural premises to access central government subsidies for bespoke digital connections, worth £2.45 million, whilst an additional £1m has been spent on topping-up over 500 of these vouchers, which will deliver over 2,000 premises with gigabit capable broadband by March 2022. All of this is bolstered by the high demand of our residents and businesses for better digital infrastructure, as the take-up for our deployed services remains one of the highest levels in the UK.

The next financial year will see the progression of the Digital Strategy for Buckinghamshire, exploring the vision, aims and tasks of the LEP for the county’s digital skills and infrastructure, as well as how it will encourage and support business innovation and growth through the fourth industrial revolution. This will all be underpinned by the continued improvement of digital connectivity in the area, as the Buckinghamshire Rural Business Broadband Project continues to focus on improving digital infrastructure for our rural businesses and the LEP supports Central Government’s Project Gigabit with further rollout of digital infrastructure in rural areas.

“THE DIGITAL PROGRAMME HAS CURRENTLY DELIVERED OVER 52,000 SUPERFAST BROADBAND CONNECTIONS”

Our Economic Recovery Strategy

Whilst the need to grow productivity will continue to be of importance in the medium to long term, the immediate focus of recovery will be on job retention and new job growth. An evidence led approach to a practical action plan to address the impact and opportunities for the Buckinghamshire economy from Covid-19 and the Climate Change Agenda, we are looking at three phases of recovery: Response – using our evidence to survey the damage and spot new opportunities; Renew – providing a rapid framework to mitigate the challenges and to capitalise swiftly to new opportunities; Rebound – to use this opportunity to develop new thinking to ensure that the Buckinghamshire economy builds back stronger, more resilient and innovative.

Financial Position – Year-Ending 31st March 2021

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership receives funding for its day-today core activity from National Government and local partners. The Buckinghamshire LEP Board manages these funding streams and Buckinghamshire Council acts as the Accountable Body for the LEP.

The Financial Statements for the year 2020/21 ended on 31st March 2021, are submitted for external audit scrutiny and, subject to satisfactory completion of the audit, are presented to the Board for sign off. The Financial Statements are below:

BUCKS LEP INCOME AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT 2020-21

Income 2020/21

Local Government Contributions

£239,301

National Government Contributions

£1,152,773

Other Income

£0

Brought Forward

£0

Total Income

£1,392,074

Local Government Contributions 2020/21

Other Grants – LEP Management

£0

Contributions from Outside Bodies
– LEP Management

£221,468

Other Income – LEP Management

£17,833

Other Income – Skills Management

£0
Expenditure 2020/21

Staffing Costs**

£562,633

Board Support & Office Costs***

£196,555

Other Costs (including external research,
marketing and communications,
meetings,exhibitions and conferences)

£785,816

Net Recharges*

£696

Carry Forward

£0

Total Expenditure £1,545,700
Transfer from Reserves £153,626
National Government Contributions 2020/21

LEP Capacity and Other Grants

£190,773

Local Growth Fund Grant for
LEP

£462,000

LEP Core Revenue Funding Grant

£500,000

LEP Skills Grant

£0

Total Income

£1,392,074

*Recharges include net ICT internal charges from BC.

**Staffing costs include salaries, NI, pension, bonus, salary recharges and staff travelling costs.

***Board Support & Office costs include course fees, printing & stationery, rents, wayleaves & hire of premises, computer software license &purchase, telephones, subscriptions to national bodies, other professional & consultancy fees, legal fees, general office expenses, website development costs and miscellaneous other expenses.

Board of Directors

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a business led Board supporting collaboration across the county.

The board provides clear direction and defines priorities for economic development interventions in Buckinghamshire.

Andrew M Smith DL - Chair
Andrew M Smith DL - ChairCorporate Affairs Director, Pinewood
Cllr Steven Broadbent
Cllr Steven BroadbentMember of Buckinghamshire Council
Adrian Brown – Vice Chair
Adrian Brown – Vice ChairManaging Director, Berkeley Strategic, Chair of Buckinghamshire Advantage
Clare Pelham
Clare PelhamChief Executive, Epilepsy Society
Eman Martin-Vignerte – Diversity Champion
Eman Martin-Vignerte – Diversity ChampionHead of External Affairs, Government and Political Relations at Bosch
Lucy Edge
Lucy EdgeChief Operation Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult
Hiren Gandhi – SME Champion
Hiren Gandhi – SME ChampionPartner, Blaser Mills Law
Martina Porter
Martina PorterDirector, All Spring Media
Cllr Martin Tett
Cllr Martin TettLeader of Buckinghamshire Council
James Tooley
James TooleyVice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham
Gareth Williams
Gareth WilliamsDeputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning & Regeneration, Buckinghamshire Council
Richard Harrington
Richard HarringtonEx officio private sector Board Member
Philippa Batting
Philippa BattingManaging Director of Buckinghamshire Business First

Useful Websites

Contact Us / Address

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