Acevo calls for greater involvement for voluntary organisations in new enterprise zones

Chief executives body says some local enterprise partnerships ignore the role the sector plays in helping local economies

Ralph Michell, head of policy at Acevo
Ralph Michell, head of policy at Acevo

The chief executives body Acevo has called for voluntary organisations to be given a significant role in the government’s new enterprise zones.

The government announced yesterday it had selected 11 geographical areas to become zones, which aim to stimulate local growth and employment. Eleven other zones were selected in a previous round of bidding.

Each zone will benefit from tax breaks, planning concessions and super-fast broadband. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said they would be "trailblazers for growth, jobs and prosperity throughout the country".

Local enterprise partnerships, which are partnerships between local authorities and businesses, put forward bids.

But Acevo is concerned that some LEPs are failing to involve voluntary organisations and ignoring the role they can play to boost local economies.

"There are LEPs whose engagement with the sector is, in our mind, not good enough," said Ralph Michell, head of policy at Acevo.

"This is all about economic growth and regeneration, and clearly the third sector should have a role in that."

Drawing on All Resources?, a report published by the think tank IPPR North in January, raised doubts about the sector’s level of engagement with LEPs.

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