Mayor announces new board to support business, jobs and growth

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the new membership of London’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which will boost jobs and support economic growth in the capital.

The new pan-London LEP, called the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), brings together the Mayor, London Councils and business leaders across all the city’s main sectors.

It will provide strategic oversight of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, which has the potential to deliver up to 40,000 jobs and 4,000 homes in east London, the London Growth Hub, the new online gateway to business support in the capital, and London’s European Structural and Investment Funds.

The Mayor will chair the new board, with the Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, taking on the role of Co-Deputy Chair alongside another Co-Deputy from the business community. The Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, will also sit on the board, with the remaining members drawn from the London boroughs and businesses. There is also a new place for a trade union representative.

The eight new business members – half of whom are women – bring a broad range of expertise in economic development as well as significant experience covering sectors from innovative tech start-ups to high-street retail, commercial land owners and creative industry.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This new business-led partnership provides a fantastic opportunity to ensure growth funding is invested in a way which makes a real difference to London’s economy.

“London is open for business and I look forward to working with the members of LEAP to take forward my new economic development strategy for the capital, generating the jobs and growth we need to keep London prosperous.”

Newly-appointed LEAP business member Natalie Campbell, founder of A Very Good Company, said: “I am looking forward to working alongside LEAP’s impressive line-up of entrepreneurs and business leaders to improve the lot for London’s small businesses.

“SMEs employ around 2.5 million people across the capital and it is therefore of vital importance to Londoners that the sector thrives.”

Fellow business member Simon Pitkeathley, CEO of Euston Town and Camden Business Improvement Districts and Camden Collective workspace, said: “I am delighted to be appointed to LEAP as we enter an exciting period for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

“Amongst all the initiatives LEAP oversees, its role in coordinating business support in London through the Growth Hub provides a huge opportunity to scale up London’s thriving start-up community”.

LEAP replaces the London Enterprise Panel and aims to be a more representative, streamlined, and business-led body. This includes an increase in the number of business representatives, of which half are now women. There is also greater representation from London’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, with one member nominated to represent and engage with the SME business community.

In addition to overseeing current growth funding, confirmation of the funding allocation to LEAP from the £492 million for London and the south east in the Autumn Statement will be announced by government in due course.