Local Strategic Partnerships are being established in England to provide an inclusive, collaborative and strategic focus to regeneration strategies at the local level. They are also required to rationalise the proliferation of local and micro-partnerships set up by a succession of funding initiatives over the last 25 years. This article explores their remit, resources and membership and discusses how this initiative relates to theoretical work on urban governance, community engagement and leadership. It concludes by debating whether urban policy in England is now entering a new and more advanced phase based on inter-organisational networks with a strategic purpose. But questions remain about whether the institutional capacity is sufficient to deliver strong local leadership, accountability and community engagement.