Acting as a voice for the GBSLEP area, we use our influence to secure greater funding and powers from the government and to leverage more investment from the private sector, both at home and overseas.
What we’ve achieved Timeline
The first of two fully segregated cycle routes in Birmingham opened. It provides a 4.5km two-way segregated cycle route along the A34 between the city centre and Heathfield Road, Birchfield. The route is highly visible with a blue aggregate surface used to make it stand out to all road users.
The project is part of Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Cycle Revolution, which GBSLEP awarded £6 million of funding.
The country’s first Local Industrial Strategy was launched in the West Midlands. Designed in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, LEPs and developed in collaboration with hundreds of businesses, public partners and civil society. The strategy sets out a long-term vision to create an inclusive, clean and resilient local economy.
• GBSLEP secures £2.5 million of funding to establish two new careers hubs to help young people prepare for the world of work.
• 39 properties built in Cannock Chase District using the Unlocking Stalled Housing Fund, and utilising £585,000 of GBSLEP funding. The scheme has utilised former or disused garage sites and other pieces of underused Council owned land across the District and produced 39 affordable rental properties.
• GBSLEP awards Birmingham’s Symphony Hall £6 million funding boost to transform the public foyer and create more spaces for people to perform and experience great work.
• New look Centenary Square opened to the public after £10.55m investment from the Enterprise Zone fund.
• The Kidderminster Rail Station building is demolished as part of major upgrade works to make way for the brand new, glass-fronted building that will be double the size and allow for more passenger capacity. The project was awarded £2.4 million of Local Growth Funding by GBSLEP.
• The Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Regeneration Partnership received £150,000 funding for phase one of a town centre masterplan which will provide inspirational vision for a sustainable and resilient town centre.
• Construction begins on Longbridge Park & Ride multi-storey car park to increase capacity and reduce congestion for commuters in South Birmingham after being awarded £1.8 million of funding by GBSLEP.
• 99 new homes were completed at the Saxon Gate development in Lichfield, providing high quality housing for residents of Staffordshire. The development utilised funding from GBSLEP’s Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme.
• Property developer BNK Construction complete the first of two residential developments in Birmingham using a £338,000 investment from the Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites programme.
• Works on the Churchfields Urban Highway Improvement Scheme started to support the delivery of new homes planned for the area, utilising £1.5 million of GBSLEP funding. This phase of the scheme focuses on improving traffic flow and access in and around the Churchfields area in Kidderminster.
Dance Hub Birmingham’s new purpose-built studio opens, with ambition to actively position Birmingham and the wider region as a globally significant area for dance after £1.1 million funding by GBSLEP.
GBSLEP holds its Annual Conference attracting over 350 key stakeholders from across the private, public and education sectors to outline investment and growth priorities.
• Lichfield Southern Bypass, a scheme to ease congestion in Lichfield and support local development moved to its next stage following the successful completion of a major engineering project, using £2.3 million of GBSLEP funding.
• The Inclusive Commonwealth Legacy Programme (ICLP), a new initiative to support diversely owned businesses in bidding for and securing contracts for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games launched, benefiting from £30,000 of GBSLEP funding.
• Work begins on a £60 million project to restore Birmingham’s 121-year-old Belmont Works factory to become the new home for Birmingham City University’s STEAMhouse initiative, which aims to drive innovation and economic growth by connecting traditional STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) with the arts.
• GBSLEP Local Growth Fund (LGF) investment surpasses £180 million since 2014, creating 5764 new jobs and unlocking 1379 homes. The investment included £84.4m in low carbon related projects and £14.97 million in skills-based projects.
• GBSLEP’s Cultural Capacity Fund commits over £81,000 to nine cultural organisations from across Greater Birmingham. This includes the delivery of a Heritage Corridor for North Worcestershire to bolster the visitor economy.
• Expansion of Innovation Birmingham Campus approved, the 120,000sqft development will provide new workspace for digital and tech businesses, supporting the rapid growth of the sector in the West Midlands. The project received £2.49 million of funding by GBSLEP.
• Greater Birmingham and Solihull awarded Institute of Technology (IoT) for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering. Supported by GBSLEP and led by Solihull College and University Centre, Aston University and Birmingham City University, the IoT brings together education providers with industry to create a powerhouse for the development of advanced manufacturing skills.
Since the end of the financial year
LGF Key Achievements
In 2019/20 we have allocated £22.67m of Local Growth Fund, working with partners to deliver high impact projects.
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) form a key part of the overall delivery of the GBSLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, addressing key priorities in the local economy. These include; driving up levels of innovation amongst businesses in key growth sectors, providing a business support offering across the range of delivery agents in the GBSLEP area, addressing low carbon challenges and promoting employment and employability amongst some of our most deprived communities. GBSLEP was nominally allocated €255.8 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) monies to be match funded 50% with other funding to cover the period 2014-20.
GBSLEP has an ESIF sub-committee that advises the managing government agencies (Managing Authorities) on local strategic aims alongside national strategic and operational objectives. It also ensures that maximum impact is achieved through the Funds. It is the responsibility of those Managing Authorities to manage the Funds and ensure the overall deliverables of the programme are met.
Although responsibility for the management of funds and delivery sits with the Managing Authorities, the ESIF form a key part of the GBSLEP’s funding priorities to support the local economy.
In 2019/20, the Managing Authorities moved their locally uncommitted ERDF and ESF to a national reserve, however GBSLEP is still able to shape targeted calls for both funds.
GBSLEP is in receipt of material sums of public sector funding it is therefore key that it can evidence to both local, national and wider stakeholders that it has robust and transparent processes and procedures in place to deliver it’s required aims.
Key to this is the Local Assurance Framework, (which is kept under regular review to reflect changes in legislation, Central Government requirements and developments in the nature of the activities of the LEP) which sets out the role of the GBSLEP together with details of our Governance and Organisational Structure, our processes and procedures, together with how we work with our partners, to ensure that we deliver value for money for the businesses and citizens of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area. Our Assurance Framework is fully compliant with the National Local Growth Assurance Framework set out by the Government.
Read about the GBSLEP board
GBSLEP operates as a private company (limited by guarantee) in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006.The GBSLEP Board consists of 19 members, with 10 from the business community, seven from the Local Authorities, one representing Further Education and one representing Higher Education.
The Board meets on a bi-monthly basis, with key board papers and decisions being made available to the public on a timely basis to aid transparency, with only a few exceptions mainly for commercial confidentiality. The Board has responsibility for strategy determination, financial approvals of a material nature and directing the activities of the LEP Executive who manage the activities of the GBSLEP on a day-to day basis. Pillar and Sub-Boards to the GBSLEP Board, together with Board Committees such as Nominations, Remuneration and Audit & Risk support the Board in its activities.
The GBSLEP’s democratic accountability is increased through the Supervisory Board consisting of the nine Local Authority Leaders or their nominated representatives who review the significant financial decisions of the GBSLEP Board and supporting activities. A Joint Scrutiny Committee established by all of the Local Authorities also reviews GBSLEP activities.
The Accountable Body for GBSLEP is Birmingham City Council (BCC). We maintain and follow Joint Working Protocols with BCC, to support the efficient running of both our activities.
Operations & Financials
INCOME & EXPENDITURE
The income and expenditure for the period, both capital and revenue, is summarised as follows:
|Capital Programmes||Revenue Programmes & Operational Activity||2019/20 (12 months)||2018/2019 (10 months)|
|Operating (deficit) / surplus||(14.8)||(4.3)||(19.1)||(13.5)|
|(Deficit) / surplus for the period||(14.8)||(3.8)||(18.6)||(12.6)|
Income & Expenditure Explained
- The deficit after interest and tax for the year was £18.6m (2018/19 £12.6m). This is in-line with expectations and is a feature of how the LEP receives and expends money, because most government grant funding is received in advance and then paid out over several years, with the grant income accounted for in the year of receipt and the grant expenditure accounted for in the year it is expended.
- The £1.7m increase in income compared to 2018/19 is mainly due to LGF grant income for 2018/19 (£14.5m) being received in April/May 2018 and therefore included in the 2017/18 accounts rather than in the 2018/19 accounts. This issue will no longer occur with the change of year-end to 31 March. This is offset by the lack of Business Rates Pool income being received in 2019/20 (£6.4m received in 2018/19) due to the dissolution of the Pool as from 31 March 2019.
- The £7.3m increase in expenditure compared to 2018/19 is mainly due to the £5.8m increase in grant payments made under the LGF3 grant programme (£6.2m 19/20; £0.4m 18/19), and the £1.2m increase in the SEF revenue project grants (£2.0m 19/20: £0.8m 18/19).
- The amount spent on LGF capital programmes and projects during the 2019/20 period (£22.2m) is similar to the previous year’s spend (£23.9m). This leaves around £54m (2018/19 £76m) of the £186m original 6-year allocation for the remaining year of the programme. Further recruitment of Programme Delivery Team resources was achieved in 2019/20 to support a significantly increased level of forecast spend for 2020/21, the final year of the programme.
- The amount spent on Business Rates Pool (BRP) funded “SEP Enabling Fund” revenue projects during the 2019/20 period (£2.0m 19/20; £0.8m 18/19) has been invested in a range of activity to support the LEP’s agenda. The final BRP income of £6.4m was accounted for from the Pool at the end of the financial year 2018/19 and this has supported additional intervention projects during 2019/20 and will do again in 2020/21. The Pool income is only invested in those projects that are approved through the agreed process.
- The £0.7m reduction in interest income is due to accumulated LGF and Growing Places Fund interest from several years being transferred by the Accountable Body to the LEP last year with no equivalent this year.
- The Corporation taxation charge has reduced by £0.3m this year as it is payable on interest received which has reduced considerably since last year, as noted above.
The balance sheet at the end of the period, which includes both capital and revenue balances, is summarised as follows:
|31 March 2020||31 March 2019|
|Bank & Cash balances||54.2||62.1|
|Project – LGF (incl DFT and LGF3)||26.6||42.4|
|Project – GPF||11.7||11.7|
|Revenue – GPF||0.7||2.5|
|Revenue – BRP||9.2||11.2|
|Revenue – core funds||1.4||0.4|
|Capital & Reserves||49.6||68.2|
Balance Sheet Explained
The £18.6m reduction in reserves is due to:
- £2.0m SEF revenue grant expenditure being made in 2019/20 with no new BRP income being received in the year,
- £0.7m deficit on revenue/operational activities mainly caused by costs of moving to the new operating model and increasing costs of planning, delivering and monitoring the growing SEF revenue grants programme.
- LGF grant expenditure in 2019/20 exceeding the LGF grant income in the year by £9.7m, as the brought forward balance of previously drawn down LGF grant income is now being used up,
- £6.2m LGF3 grant expenditure being made in 2019/20 with all grant income being received in previous years.
Movement in Funding Sources
The movements during the year in the balance on each of the funding sources is as follows:
|2019/2020 – Capital – Balance Sheet||GBSLEP Funds April 2019 (As restated)||2019/20 Income||2019/20 Expenditure||2019/20 Commitments||2019/20 Interest and Taxation||Balance sheet transfers||GBSLEP Funds March 2020|
|Local Growth Fund (LGF) 1 & 2, RIF and DFT||32.2||13.6||(19.5)||(2.7)||0.0||(1.1)||22.6|
|Local Growth Fund (LGF) 3||10.2||0.0||(2.6)||(3.6)||0.0||0.0||4.0|
|Growing Places Fund: Capital||11.7||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||11.7|
|Growing Places Fund: Revenue||2.5||0.0||(0.1)||0.0||0.0||(1.8)||0.7|
|Enabling Fund (BRP)||11.2||0.0||(1.5)||(0.5)||0.0||0.0||9.2|
The information in this table is included in the Annual Report as required by section 108 of the BEIS national LEP assurance framework.