All six council in Berkshire look set to approve the formation of a county-wide prosperity board to replace the LEP.

Under the proposals, all six councils would work jointly to promote Berkshire to investors, businesses and central Government. Government funding of Local Enterprise Partnerships is due to end in April and will be transferred to local authorities which will take on the responsibilities of LEPs.

Formation of the proposed new Berkshire Prosperity Board follows discussions with all the council leaders and each will discuss the prospect at the relevant policy, cabinet or executive meetings between February 6 and March 14.

If agreed, the first inaugural Berkshire Prosperity Board meeting could take place as early as May.

The councils say they plan to collaborate with other partners, including the business community to provide a more powerful voice to lobby Government and secure more finance from both public and private sectors.

Cllr Jason Brock, leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “It has always been the case that it is in the best interests of all of residents that local authorities in Berkshire work collaboratively.

“Over the past year there has certainly been progress on that front and the new board now offers all six councils the opportunity to provide a stronger voice to Government when applying for funding and investment opportunities.

“Berkshire is not immune to the challenges of economic growth, but I sincerely hope that by working together we can provide a better Berkshire for our residents.”

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