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Economic Development


Following the General Election, the Government is committed to building a new economic model. This includes the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships - joint local authority-business bodies brought forward by local authorities themselves to promote local economic development - to replace Regional Development Agencies. In taking this work forward the Government wishes to ensure an orderly transition which maintains focus on delivery. Detailed proposals will follow in due course.

The Angel of the north against a blue sky

These pages explain how we work in partnership with regional and local bodies to meet our aim by working to promote investment, skills, employment, efficiency, innovation and competitiveness.

They also include information about Local Enterprise Partnerships.

There are also pages on how we are working with the European Union and internationally to achieve the Department's strategic priorities and to have the greatest impact on productivity.

The role of the Industrial Development Advisory Board, which advises on regional assistance, is explained. Regional Development Strategy is covered, including the policies of Government departments working with devolved administrations.


White Paper - Local Growth - Realising every place's potential

Local growth: realising every place's potential (PDF, 1.9 Mb) 

Government’s overarching goal is to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth. We need to rebalance the economy both sectorally and geographically growth, so that growth is not reliant on particular places. For local communities this means ensuring that everyone has access to opportunities that growth brings and everyone is able to fulfil their potential.

On 28 October 2010 we published the Local Growth White Paper, which sets out our new approach to sub-national growth, including more information about Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Regional Growth Fund. It focuses on three key themes:

Shifting power to local communities and businesses – those who understand their economies best should lead their development and enable all places to fulfil their potential.

Increasing confidence to invest - create the right conditions for growth through Government allowing market forces to determine where growth takes place and provide incentives which ensure that local communities benefit from development.

Focused intervention – tackling barriers to growth that the market will not address itself, supporting investment that will have a long term impact on growth and supporting areas with long term growth challenges manage their transition to what is appropriate for the local area. Government policies should work with the market, not seek to artificially create growth.