Agenda and minutes

Local Enterprise Partnership - Thursday, 18th May, 2023 11.00 am

Venue: South Yorkshire MCA, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting.


Apologies were noted as above.


The Chair noted that this was the Director of Corporate Policy’s final LEP Board meeting before leaving the MCA, and the Board thanked him for all his contributions.


An update was provided by the Mayor on the ongoing UKREiiF (UK Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure) Conference. He celebrated the success of the event and the quality of South Yorkshire’s stand space and variety of engaging panels and events, including an oversubscribed “Sheffield Showcase” event.


Declarations of Interest

·         In relation to any agenda item

·         In relation to any activity since the last formal meeting

·         In relation to any forthcoming activity




Notes of Last Meeting and Action Log pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the notes of the meeting held on 9th March be agreed as a true record.


Regarding the notes of the last meeting, Cllr Caroline Mackinson requested that further updates and outcomes on green skills and net zero work be shared with Barnsley MBC - ACTION: Associate Director Sills & Employability.


RESOLVED: to note updates to the action log.



The South Yorkshire Economy: Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review


A presentation on the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review was given, noting a refreshed programme of work being undertaken including a Strategic Transport Plan.


The review noted the outputs from the design of 6 economic scenarios, from ‘baseline’ through to ‘transformational’, showing the high levels of investment and economic interventions which would be required to “level up” the north. Through this work, a disparity of £1500 per person had been noted between the north and the rest of England.


It was highlighted that outcomes of this modelling aligned strongly with the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), and the ‘transformational’ scenario would result in an extra £118bn in the northern economy, and 1 million extra jobs, by 2050, as well as increases in wages, population and consumption.


Different methods of delivering these economic and societal benefits were being explored with partners, such as investigating different places to seek investment, and new ways of measuring value and productivity.


The Board welcomed the outcomes of this work and noted the potential to take it forward in the South Yorkshire prospectus for growth and pursuit of further devolution deals.


ACTION: Consultation on the Strategic Transport Plan to be considered at a future LEP Board.


RESOLVED: To note the update.



Minister & Key Stakeholder Engagement pdf icon PDF 199 KB


An update was presented on SYMCA and the LEP’s engagement with key Ministers and Stakeholders.


It was noted that engagement with key external stakeholders was now taking place more frequently and in a more joined up manner, for example at the UKREiiF Conference.


A member asked whether the new Active Travel Commissioner could explore how electric bikes could be made more affordable, and also asked how Local Authorities would be expected to report on the implementation of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy. ACTION: Corporate Policy and Strategy Officer – agreed to feed these requests forward into future stakeholder engagement.


The Board welcomed the update and the MCA’s approach to stakeholder engagement, particularly with regard to the UKREiiF event. The Chair asked that members continue to be fully equipped with key messages and approaches to future stakeholder engagement initiatives. 


RESOLVED: To note the update.


Vertical Farming using mine water geothermals


A presentation on Vertical Farming using mine water geothermals was given which highlighted the following challenges to food production:

·         High land use and deforestation required to produce food,

·         High water and energy usage to feed crops,

·         Climate change and changing weather conditions.


The FeedaMillion project at Sheffield Hallam University brings together scientists and regional companies to address these challenges and to seek to produce more affordable and sustainable food sources and diets, as well as driving up economic activity. This is being done through use of engineering technologies which support indoor growing of crops with low energy and water usage.


The project currently has a system demonstrator site, which demonstrates the capabilities of this work, but is seeking support for a factory scale site as well as a visitor centre.


Board members welcomed how these ambitions contribute to the strategic ambitions of the region such as development of the health and wellbeing sector and increasing opportunities for employment.


Professor Howarth noted that future funding would be needed to grow the capabilities of this project and welcomed engagement with MCA Officers to develop a strong business case.


RESOLVED: To note the update.



South Yorkshire Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities - HVMC Research Report Output pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:


A presentation was given on the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s(HVMC) research report on South Yorkshire Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities.


It was noted that advanced manufacturing covers a broad range of processes and technologies and identifying a clearer definition of the sector would help to assess its capabilities and successes.


Innovation capabilities and strengths in the region were highlighted as including:

  • Health and wellbeing,
  • Advanced materials such as metallics,
  • Automation and robotics,
  • Food and drink innovation,
  • The existence of major research and innovation assets in the region.


Capabilities in the region had been grouped in to six thematic areas, which could be used to target appropriate funding opportunities:

  • Carbon Neutral & Circular Industries,
  • Sustainable & Smart Mobility,
  • Resilient Supply Networks,
  • Clean Energy transition,
  • Digital Engineering and Manufacturing,
  • Health & Wellbeing.


Mature and emerging future market opportunities, from encouraging SMEs to growth through innovation, to developing the technical competence of targeted sectors, had been mapped in the report, alongside their potential impacts.


It was noted that taking no action would likely lead to shrinkage in the sector, but that large interventions had the opportunity to create £5bn worth of growth.


Difficulties for businesses to grow in this sector were noted as:

  • Lack of hybrid ( combined traditional and advanced manufacturing) skills,
  • Lack of strategy and support,
  • Lack of access to finance and innovation,
  • Difficulty accessing clean energy.


Recommendations resulting from the report were to:

  • Provide coherent innovation leadership for local businesses, towards central government and investors.
  • Provide clarity of the strength of the region’s innovation offering.
  • Maintain momentum within the innovation community through engaging the community, providing tangible “quick wins” and co-creating credible strategies.


RESOLVED: To note the update.



Investment Zone Development


A verbal update was given on development of a South Yorkshire Investment Zone, noting that South Yorkshire had been invited by Government to co-design an Investment Zone.


In implementing the Investment Zone £80m of funding could be accessed in the region, through a combination of grants and tax incentives.


A first draft of a vision document for the Zone had been submitted to Government, and now Officers were working with partners to shape the geography and interventions of the Zone.


RESOLVED: To note the update.



MCA & LEP Policy and Programmes Update pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:


An update was provided on ongoing MCA and LEP Policy and Programmes.


RESOLVED: To note the update.


MCA Governance Update


A verbal update was given on MCA Governance, noting that following the Government’s review of LEPs and the ambitions of the Mayor, a review of the MCA and its governance had been undertaken, including the LEP Board.


Following engagement with LEP members, conclusions and recommendations were due to be presented at the June MCA Board for approval.


RESOLVED: To note the update.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:


A Forward Plan for future meetings of the Board was presented.


RESOLVED: To note the Forward Plan.