Mapping the architecture of economic development policy and strategy across the Midlands Engine pan-region

Green, A., Rossiter, W. ORCID: 0000-0002-2199-1136, Taylor, A., Hoole, C., Riley, R., Karagounis, K. and Pugh, A., 2021. Mapping the architecture of economic development policy and strategy across the Midlands Engine pan-region. Nottingham: Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

The Midlands has a complex institutional architecture at local and sub-regional levels, involving statutory and non-statutory organisations and partnerships. We undertake an audit of extant local and sub-regional economic development strategies and plans. Our research (an audit of Local Enterprise Partnership [LEP] and local authority [LA] strategies, a literature review and intelligence gathering amongst local stakeholders with responsibilities for economic development) focused on the content of strategies and the nature of targets presented in them. It concluded that there is a varied picture at local and sub-regional levels as to whether strategies include targets and the nature of those targets, so presenting considerable challenges for the aggregation of targets across areas.

There is some degree of consistency between the aspirational targets of LEPs around productivity and those of the Midlands Engine for the pan-Midlands region. A lack of uniformity in information included in economic development strategies means it is very unclear whether local/sub-regional actions and ambitions are sufficient to meet strategic ambitions at the Midlands scale.

Our research also suggests that the geographically uneven and complex nature of layers of local and sub-regional governance with a mix of statutory and non-statutory organisations and responsibilities, that have developed in a relatively ad hoc way, pose difficulties for gaining a clear line of sight between sub-national and national policies. Ad hoc challenge funding pots can compound problems of longer-term planning and coordination across geographical scales.

While not all local/sub-regional strategies need to be the same, there is a case for greater consistency, such that they share some common characteristics, including a targetry framework and a set of indicators to monitor progress.

Responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have led a revitalisation of existing and new partnerships. Recovery frameworks include a broadening of economic development strategies and visions to cover health and well-being and inclusive growth and greater emphasis on digital infrastructure and green issues alongside traditional concerns of skills, innovation and enterprise.

Item Type: Research report for external body
Description: Commissioning Body: Midlands Engine
Creators: Green, A., Rossiter, W., Taylor, A., Hoole, C., Riley, R., Karagounis, K. and Pugh, A.
Publisher: Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 8 June 2021
Identifiers:
NumberType
1444589Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Jul 2021 14:02
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2021 13:57
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/43286

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