B58: Taking Forward the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration

6th May 2008.

Following the publication of the Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration 1 in July 2007, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) was excited that Central Government’s stranglehold of economic development activity was to be broken with a series of new proposals with the devolution of economic development responsibility at their heart.

Proposals included the opportunity for local authorities to shape the economy of their place through the development of evidence focused Economic Development Duty. The accountability arrangements and funding cycles of the Regional Development Agencies were altered to foster not only a more strategic role through Integrated Regional Strategies for the Agencies, but also to ensure greater local authority involvement in regional decision making and local delivery of regionally funded projects. Proposals also widened the opportunity for cross-authority boundary collaboration with the formalisation of the process of Multi Area Agreements and the introduction of new forms of sub-regional, primarily economic development related vehicles.

The purpose of this bulletin is therefore three-fold:

  • First, it seeks to reiterate and describe the key proposals outlined in the new consultation document;
  • Second, it seeks to critique each of the proposals with regard to the key consultation questions;
  • Third, it seeks to enable economic development practitioners within the CLES membership base and wider network to consider what their approach to the consultation may include. CLES will also be putting in a response to the consultation and members may wish to support this response with further comments on the Review.