Sub-national economic development: Where do we go from here?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 2011, 4 (3), pp. 255 - 268
Issue Date:
2011-12-01
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The UK's Conservative-Liberal Democrat (Con-Lib) Coalition Government has been quickly dismantling New Labour's policy framework since it gained political control in May 2010. Contemplating how this transition might play out and the impact upon regeneration policy, a preliminary map of the road from the incumbent English Regional Development Agencies to myriad Local Enterprise Partnerships is sketched out. The analytic interpretations are based on insights 'in the field' over the past decade and grounded in policy 'chatter'. Reflecting on the importance of timing, resource availability and the policy vacuum arising between localities and national government, attention is drawn to countless questions that remain unanswered. Further, the Con-Lib Government's sub-national economic policy architecture is demonstrated as remaining very much work in progress. The paper highlights that the current transitional period is likely to be disorderly and possibly ineffective: deconstruction is all well and good if the alternative reconstructions offer added value, but the potential to lose out is significant. While hope is expressed with a localism agenda which could potentially empower localities to devise unique policy solutions administered by tailored spatial configurations, it is cautioned that new spatio-institutional 'fixes' may open up new issues just as old ones are closed off. A policy story still being written, the analysis is of broader international appeal. Consequently, those plying their trade outside England can reflect on this and act accordingly the next time a new (and presumably better) policy innovation is proposed. © Henry Stewart Publications.
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