Annual report showcases impact of business board investments on jobs and enterprise

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An annual report capturing the business support and jobs benefits resulting from investments from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board has been formally published.

The Business Board is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the region tasked with creating and protecting jobs, supporting businesses, boosting skills and ultimately supporting economic growth.

The annual report describes the performance and highlights of the 2020/21 period, and the more outcome-focussed, commercially-driven approach to investing in the region’s economy. It was presented to the Combined Authority Board on Wednesday (November 24).

The period covered by the report was hugely affected by Covid-19 and one of the highlights is the Business Board’s rapid economic response in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. A £6 million investment in different businesses across the region resulted in the creation of 287 jobs, the protection of 522, and support for those enterprises to grow and adapt to new trading conditions. This immediate response is also paired with a regularly refreshed and ongoing Local Economic Recovery Strategy, working with local partners to support the economy through Covid-19.

The Business Board has overseen improvements to the outcomes from investments from the Local Growth Fund. Under the previous Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, one job was created for every £71,000 of investment. Initial data under the current Business Board stewardship suggests a much-improved cost of £24,000 cost per job. The most recent Local Growth Fund investment is delivering at an average cost per job of £7,500 – nearly a tenth of the cost.

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With funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Plunkett is currently able to offer early-stage community businesses free advice and support on how to get their business off the ground, including guidance on community engagement, legal structures, business planning and raising the funds to do it.