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IED Annual Conference and Awards launched as 40th anniversary celebrations get underway


Booking is now open for the 2023 Institute of Economic Development Annual Conference and Awards Dinner, as the organisation’s 40th anniversary celebrations get into full swing.

The IED Annual Conference, which will be held at the Park Regis Birmingham on 7th November, is themed Grow for Good? Reappraising the UK's Growth Objectives. Workshops and presentations will focus on related topics including Town Centres, Inclusive Growth, Skills and Fair Employment, Housing, Economic Regeneration and Health & Wellbeing. 

Confirmed keynote speakers are IED Patron Judith Blake, the Baroness Blake of Leeds CBE, and Greg Clark MP. Other guest speakers include:

  • Tom Stannard, Chair, IED, and Chief Executive, Salford City Council.
  • Sarah Longlands, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).
  • Dr Julian Dobson, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Jo Bibby, Director of Health, The Health Foundation.
  • David Wilkes, Director – Innovation Ecosystem, Innovate UK.
  • Tamsin Hart-Jones, Head of Cities and Major Conurbations, Homes England.
  • David Marlow, Founder, Third Life Economics.

Following the one-day conference, the IED Awards Dinner will take place in the Sky Gallery at the Park Regis Hotel. The awards will recognise achievers in the public and private sector through a series of individual, team, and organisational categories. Eight categories are now open for entry and a ninth, Outstanding Contribution to Economic Development, will be selected by the IED Board and expert judging panel.

Leader of the Year

Economic development professionals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and management in their role, and who motivate and inspire their team to achieve success through effective leadership.

Team of the Year

Exceptional economic development teams who have gone above and beyond in ensuring the smooth running and effective delivery of economic development functions in their organisations.

Rising Star of the Year

Younger economic development team members aged 30 or under (as of 1st June 2023) who have demonstrated excellence, commitment and gone above and beyond in their early career.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year

Individuals who have strived to actively promote, celebrate and raise awareness of EDI, improving under-represented involvement in economic development in their organisation or externally.

Social Value Champion of the Year

Individuals who have championed and made a significant contribution to social value creation, developing best practice in their field and making positive impacts in their communities. 

Most Innovative Project of the Year

Innovative economic development projects which have pushed the boundaries beyond traditional approaches and delivered additional beneficial outcomes as a result of the innovation.

Collaborative Initiative of the Year

Outstanding cross-sector economic development collaboration between two or more partners drawn from local authorities, private sector, third sector, business and academia.

Outstanding Impact 

For projects delivered and concluded in the last five years, which demonstrate benchmarked evidence against other similar initiatives. Impacts could include environmental, social, business support (from start-up to growth and scale), rural development and regeneration.

*Outstanding Contribution to Economic Development

Individuals who have made a sustained outstanding contribution to any field of economic development over a minimum of 20 years.

*To be selected by Institute of Economic Development Board and expert judging panel.

To enter the awards, individuals/teams should develop a 500-word entry on ‘why they should win’, together with an optional one page of additional evidence, and submit to by 5pm on 1st September 2023.

“We are really looking forward to the Annual Conference and Awards Dinner in Birmingham, which are among our flagship events as we mark our 40th anniversary as a professional body,” explained IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock. 

“Further details on our conference programme will be announced as and when speakers and sponsors are confirmed, but in the meantime we urge members and non-members to take up the Early Bird ticket rates for the Annual Conference by 30th June and to get their submissions in for the Annual Awards. We want to use both as an opportunity to highlight initiatives which encapsulate the full spectrum and contribution of economic development. Celebrating success in our profession is something we should all be proud of.”

It was in September 1982 that a group of industrial/economic development practitioners in the North West first came together to assess the support for establishing a professional body to support their career development. Just 12 months later, what is now known as the Institute of Economic Development (IED), was officially incorporated. To mark the 40th anniversary, there will be a programme of events and activities throughout the IED’s 2023-24 business year to celebrate this milestone. More information here


Contact: Phil Smith, Institute of Economic Development PR consultant, on 01778 218180 / 07866 436159 /


The Institute of Economic Development (IED) is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners. Established 40 years ago, the IED's key objective is to represent the interests of economic development practitioners and ensure their views are widely expressed and noted. The IED is committed to demonstrating the value of economic development work for local and regional communities; the pursuit of best practice in economic development and the attainment of the highest standards of professional conduct and competence.