The two LEPs are now engaged in making sure that the transition to a single integrated LEP by the end of March 2017, which will serve the South East Midlands including the whole of Northamptonshire, goes smoothly.
In operational terms, the single LEP will be operating as from October 3 this year, with current SEMLEP chief executive Stephen Catchpole becoming chief executive designate of the new LEP.
SEMLEP chair Ann Limb (pictured) said: “The decision to integrate makes enormous sense and removes any confusion in the area about which LEP is responsible for what activity. I look forward to the new arrangement making a real contribution to the continuing prosperity of the area.”
NEP chair John Markham added: “I am very pleased that we have been able to reach a satisfactory outcome that government approves of. We will ensure that the area, particularly the business community, will continue to receive the high quality service that it needs from the integrated LEP in the future.”
The government believes the single LEP will be better placed to support housing growth, help local businesses to flourish and attract new companies to Northampton’s Enterprise Zone.
Andrew Percy, Minister for Local Growth, said: “This is an excellent decision and one that has been made by local people who know the area best.”