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General Election 2024: IED calls on new Government to kickstart economic growth


The Institute of Economic Development (IED) has responded to the outcome of the General Election, which sees the Labour Party return to power for the first time since 2010. 

Tom Stannard, Chair of the IED, said: “We would like to offer our congratulations to Labour on winning the General Election and look forward to working closely with them in the next parliament, especially around their mission to kickstart economic growth. We are already encouraged by the alignment between the Labour Manifesto and the IED’s Grow Local, Grow National manifesto, published last November.

“The new Government has set out a commitment to introduce a new industrial strategy and end short-term economic policy making with the establishment of an Industrial Strategy Council. This follows our call in Grow Local, Grow National for the introduction of a national economic/industrial strategy, and for the IED to be represented on the revamped council, as the leading professional body representing 1,500+ practitioners supporting local and regional economic growth across the UK. We look forward to bringing the voice of experience and practitioners to this work with Government.  

“We are pleased that the new Government recognises that the country remains too centralised, with the economic potential of too many regions and communities ignored. Our call in Grow Local, Grow National was for greater devolution, underpinned by multi-year funding settlements rather than annual spending reviews. Underpinning all economic development and associated projects is a requirement for a more stable and long-term funding landscape, and again we are pleased that our call for an end to competitive bidding is also recognised by the new Government.

“As it seeks to provide greater stability, the new Government has committed to providing capacity and support to councils. However, the mission of sustainable economic growth, and deepening devolution settlements across England with statutory Local Growth Plans, requires even greater commitment to economic development practitioners working for local and regional communities. Councils alongside specialists in the private sector could deliver so much more if they were given statutory powers, with their unique understanding of local economies, to better ensure policies are adapted to local conditions and make the most of the strengths of local places. 

“That is why we are calling for economic development to be formally recognised as a statutory function provided by local authorities. We welcome continued dialogue with the new Government on establishing the economic development duty during the next Parliament.

“We also look forward to a stimulating national debate on these opportunities at our Annual Conference, ‘Economic Transition – How do we deliver long-lasting change in our towns, cities and regions?’, on 6th November. This will be one of the first opportunities for UK economic development practitioners to come together to deepen their understanding of the new Government’s direction of travel, and to demonstrate the real value our work adds to local growth.”