This report looks at the involvement of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and social enterprises in the work of LEPs, and focuses on the North of England, as this part of the country has the greatest need for effective LEPs.

The government is committed to rebalancing the economy, to be less reliant on the public sector, financial services and growth driven by the greater south east of England. Central to delivering this aspiration are the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which are being formed by local government, business and other stakeholders. At the same time the Regional Development Agencies, which the previous government created to promote economic development, are being abolished.

If LEPs are to fulfil their remit of driving economic growth, it is essential that they draw fully on the resources available to them - whether financial, intellectual or practical. This is particularly important in the current context of reduced public spending.

Published in partnership with ACEVO