Leeds City Region Business Engagement System

Leeds City Region Business Engagement System

The background

A collaboration between the Leeds City Region Secretariat, the Local Authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Selby, Wakefield and York and other public sector partners (including UKTI’s Investor Development Team, Job Centre Plus and the National Apprenticeship Service).

The challenge

Leeds City Region LA Chief Executives agreed to the development of a City Region Evolutive network The network, its business CRM and Web Portal are designed to:

- Build the LEP’s capacity to deliver its economic objectives by supporting collaboration between partners on inward investment, skills and business support. Immediate examples include the City Region’s export campaign and Regional Growth Fund, Get Britain Working and the Work Programme.

- Reduce the burden of multiple public sector contacts with businesses by improving co-ordination between business support staff in the City Region.

- To build relationships, trust and mutual awareness between business support staff in public sector organisations.

The response

Phase 1 of the project was the networking of City Region local authority economic development systems (Evolutive) through the creation of an additional central ‘hub’ to enable data-sharing between City region partners. The network will support a range of future collaborative initiatives. Individual authorities can upload information from their local systems.

Initial network development also included a web portal to enable the sharing of basic data about contacts with businesses between public sector agencies, including non-Evolutive users. Initial users of the web portal are Job Centre Plus, National Apprenticeships Service, CO2 Sense and UKTI’s Investor Development team.

Phase 2 will focus on functionality to enable inward investment enquiry handling and place marketing.

The results

A systems protocol has been agreed, that sets out general and specific responsibilities of partners involved in Phase 1 of LCR network development including arrangements for management, sustainability and data protection. A separate protocol will be defined for phase 2 of the project.

Alcium’s Kevin Grimshaw has been the lead Consultant on this project, from conception through the implementation, working very closely with the City Region Secretariat and their partners.

Experience of implementing a similar project for Humber Employer Engagement was beneficial in understanding the complexities of such a wide ranging project.

The flexibility and robustness of Evolutive, allows this to be at the core of the technical solution. The new web portal provides access to a centralised hub of information collected from a diverse range of sources.