BUSINESS leaders and local authorities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have joined forces to create proposals for a partnership which will drive economic recovery and development across the county and beyond and could become a model for the rest of the country.

BUSINESS leaders and local authorities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have joined forces to create proposals for a partnership which will drive economic recovery and development across the county and beyond and could become a model for the rest of the country.

A partnership project board has been formed to steer the development of the proposal and its chairman John Bridge, chief executive of the county’s chambers of commerce, has now written to Government ministers urging them to support the creation of a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough areas.

In his letter, Mr Bridge cites Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s ‘unique’ position in the country as an economic and educational powerhouse that has ensured the area weathered the economic downturn better than many other areas.

The mission of the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership is to lead the area’s growth to 100,000 major businesses and create 160,000 new jobs by 2025 in an internationally significant low carbon, knowledge-based economy.

Mr Bridge said: “The economic geography of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is distinctive. Together, our 1.3million population and 60,000 major businesses generate approximately £30billion a year for the UK economy.

“Growth in the local economy in the last decade has outstripped that of the wider UK and we have national and international strengths in ICT, bio-medical, low-carbon and environmental goods, high-value engineering and manufacturing, and creative industries; sectors that can drive national economic recovery and lead the transition to a greener economy.”

Subject to feedback from Secretaries of State Vince Cable and Eric Pickles, work will continue on developing a formal proposal to create the local enterprise partnership, which would break down traditional administrative barriers across Cambridgeshire and lead the local and national economic development and recovery.

The Government has asked for responses by September 6.

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Jill Tuck said: “Both the public and private sectors across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have worked extremely hard to reduce the impact of the current challenging economic situation – but challenge also brings opportunity.

“We believe the time is right to create a local enterprise partnership that will build on the good work locally and become a pathfinder for the drive for recovery nationally.”