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Regional Development Agency closure

The Government announced the abolition of the nine Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in England – eight regional agencies through the Public Bodies Bill and the London Development Agency through the Localism Bill - on 22 June 2010. BIS wishes to ensure an orderly transition and closure of RDA programmes, which maintains focus on delivery.

The eight RDAs will cease operations by April 2012, with formal closure and final accounts delivered later in the summer, along with the final abolition order under the Public Bodies Act which received Royal Assent on 14th December 2011.

The London Development Agency (LDA) is expected to cease operations by March 2012, following Royal Assent for the Localism Act on 15th November 2011. It is intended that all LDA assets and liabilities will be transferred to the Greater London Authority (GLA) before the LDA closes. This will give the GLA an important portfolio of regeneration assets to support its new responsibilities for housing and regeneration in London which are being implemented in the Localism Bill.

It is important for BIS and the RDAs that the RDAs’ assets and liabilities are disposed of appropriately and transparently. Most RDA assets and liabilities have now been transferred out of the RDAs –the RDA assets page has more details of how RDAs disposed of these assets. RDA assets and liabilities outside London that have not been disposed of by March 2012 will be transferred to BIS.

The following web pages will give you more detail about the closure programme and how we are managing the transition, and will include RDA Board minutes for meetings held in 2012. For more information about RDAs and what they did, you can view archived versions of BIS and RDA websites in the UK Government Web Archive.


The eight Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) were established under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998, and were formally launched in eight English regions on 1 April 1999. The ninth, in London, was established in July 2000 following the establishment of the Greater London Authority (GLA). responsibility for sponsorship of the RDAs transferred to DTI (BIS's predecessor Department) in 2001.

Under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998, each Agency has five statutory purposes, which are:

  • To further economic development and regeneration
  • To promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness
  • To promote employment 
  • To enhance development and application of skill relevant to employment
  • To contribute to sustainable development

The RDAs' agenda included regeneration, taking forward regional competitiveness, taking the lead on inward investment and, working with regional partners, developing a skills action plan to ensure that skills training matched the needs of the labour market.


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