Leeds and Partners to be wound up as LEP takes investment role

THE body set up two years ago to attract jobs and investment to Leeds is set to be wound up.

Lurene Joseph

If the plan is approved next week, the work on inward investment carried out by Leeds and Partners will be taken over by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) while its tourism work will be transferred to Leeds City Council.

Leeds and Partners staff will transfer to the LEP or council depending on their role.

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The changes are expected to be in place by April.

Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “While it is clear that Leeds and Partners put our inward investment activity on a more robust footing we cannot rest on our laurels and need to continue to compete more effectively as a city region both nationally and globally.

“In the current climate, this move is the right step to make sure that as a region we harness all of the resources available to us and use them to the best possible effect.”

Leeds and Partners chief executive Lurene Joseph had previously announced she would leave her £160,000 a year role in the spring after a controversial tenure.

The reorganisation means efforts to attract jobs and investment will now be pursued jointly by the Leeds City Region group of councils through the LEP.

As a result, Leeds City Council expects to save around £1 million as the administrative costs of Leeds and Partners are lost and it shares the bill for inward investment work with its neighbours.

Leeds and Partners chairman Andy Clarke, the chief executive of supermarket chain, said he “wholeheartedly” backed the move.

A report to be considered by Leeds City Council’s executive suggests a ‘director of inward investment’ will be employed at the LEP to lead a team of around 16 people. For legal reasons they will be employed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.