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IED responds to Industrial Strategy publication


The Institute of Economic Development (IED) welcomes the publication of the Industrial Strategy as a document which is long overdue on how the UK goes about its economic development. We were pleased to provide a detailed response to the Green Paper and the Strategy itself is altogether more substantive.

There is much detail in the document, which we will reflect on and analyse the implications of, but the report centres its approach on the foundations of productivity – ideas, people, infrastructure, environment and place. The document is clear on the ‘grand challenges’ that we face in terms of artificial intelligence / big data, mobility, ageing society and clean growth. It also contains the first of a few proposed sector deals – suggesting that some sectors were a bit slow off the mark in getting agreement. Those published so far are life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and automotive.

At the IED we have initially concentrated our scrutiny around the ‘place’ chapter and note that the Government continues to champion the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine as well as re-affirming the role for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). In addition, the Government has stated that LEPs will undergo some changes in 2018 with regard to roles and responsibilities with reforms to leadership, governance, accountability, financial reporting and geographical boundaries. This sounds encouraging – no change to the basic structures but ensuring that LEPs, which were introduced on a shoestring, may be properly established to fulfil the wide remit that they have gained.

What wasn’t seen coming by the IED was the need for each of the LEPs to create a Local Industrial Strategy to allow the cascading of the national policy. At one level this sounds sensible – but most LEPs have recently refreshed their strategic economic plans and might have hoped to avoid further strategizing.

In common with our view on the budget, the IED now hopes that the Industrial Strategy provides some consistency of approach and certainty of policy for some years allowing private enterprise to have confidence to invest on the back of it. A period of stability combined with economic development being enshrined as a statutory function in local government to ensure high quality delivery is well overdue.”

Nigel Wilcock, Executive Director, Institute of Economic Development, 27/11/17

Nigel Wilcock is available for interview via Phil Smith, Institute of Economic Development
PR consultant, on 01778 218180 / 07866 436159 / phil@philsmithcommunications.co.uk.

Notes to editors:

The Institute of Economic Development (IED) is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners. Established over 30 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.

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