12th June DSEQ Networking: GBSLEP and Local Industrial Strategies

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter: June Networking

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter are coming back on 12th June (8.30am-10.30am). We will be bringing Digbeth based organisations back together for our 3rd networking event of the year. We have run two successful networking sessions so far, one that included presentations on social finances and its use for social enterprises and a second on HS2 and the Curzon Street development and its impact on Digbeth organisations, these were great sessions with great feedback from our network. When it came to organising our 3rd event for the year we thought back to see what is currently important for the social enterprise sector and our locality in Digbeth.


The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) are a partnerships between local authorities and private sector businesses.  They play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and job creation, improve infrastructure and raise workforce skills within the local area. With the development of the national industrial strategy white paper last year there was included a demand for organisation around place and the specifics of local economic development, this introduced local industrial strategies.

What are local industrial strategies?

A local industrial strategy (LIS) should bring together a strong, well-informed evidence base about an area’s economy and outline a long-term set of priorities that capitalise on existing opportunities in the economy, address weaknesses and resolve an area’s needs. You might think that having “industrial” in the title means a focus on particular sectors nationally, but the reality is they should give direction to an area’s whole economy and the sectors which are locally impactful.

What will they be used for?

LISs will outline the long-term economic strategy for local areas and ensure that skills, infrastructure, housing policy, land supply and other important areas align to local needs. LISs will guide policy and decision-making across a broad range of local areas, particularly in places with MCAs, where LISs will guide mayoral policy.   Given that they will all be agreed by government, they are also likely to play a role in decisions made in Whitehall from allocating funding to devolution deals and approving new infrastructure.

Why does the local industrial strategy matter to DSEQ?

We have invited  from the GBSLEP Paul Edwards (Head of Strategy) and David Furmage (Creative & Cultural lead) who are involved in the development of the local industrial strategy. The strategy  will continue to be developed by GBSLEP up till next year when they will be completed and released. There have already emerged a few key focuses for the LIS in our local area including creative industries among other specified target industries.

Digbeth is well known for its wealth of creative organisations, any consultation on the development of an local industrial strategy that tries to develop our creative industry will greatly benefit from the input of the creative organisations within Digbeth. More broadly this is also a great opportunity for social enterprises to raise the needs and benefits of incorporating the social economy into the local industrial strategy. Given the success of this years City Drive and the recognition of Birmingham as a social enterprise city, now is a great opportunity to push the social economy to the centre stage!

If you wish to book a place please contact Paul.Barnes@i-se.co.uk