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Strategies to support UK growth post-Brexit to be debated at national economic development conference


IED Annual Conference 2019

The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era

Wednesday 4th December 2019; BMA House, London

Exploring ways to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth and more effective place management will be the focus of discussion at the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Annual Conference 2019, which is being held at BMA House in London next week.

The 4th December conference, titled The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era, will bring together around 200 sector leaders and economic development and regeneration practitioners representing local and regional communities. Key topics on the agenda are growth versus sustainability; inclusive growth; international trade and investment; local industrial strategies; and wellness and place. 

Amongst the highlights is an opening keynote from Rt Hon The Lord Kerslake, President of the Local Government Association and Chair of The UK2070 Commission, The Centre for Public Scrutiny and Peabody; which follows opening remarks from IED Chair Bev Hurley.

Other keynote speakers are The Baroness Valentine, Chair of Heathrow Southern Rail and Director of Place at Business in the Community, who will be speaking on ‘Regenerating seaside towns and communities’; and Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, who will be reflecting on ‘How the UK can match European success’. There is also a keynote panel discussion on ‘The future of underperforming towns’, featuring Professor Cathy Parker, Chair of the Institute of Place Management; Sir Howard Bernstein, Strategic Advisor at Deloitte and Chair and Patron of the IED; and Professor Henry Overman from LSE.

This year’s IED Annual Conference, which will again incorporate the IED Annual Awards ceremony, is sponsored by Lichfields, Pegasus Group and Warwick Economics & Development; AECOM, Emsi UK and Local Government Chronicle; Grant Thornton, SignedUp Skills and the Social Value Engine.  

IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock said: “Predictably the ‘rhetoric’ building up to the General Election has touched on left-behind UK regions and how best to address those areas of the country which, for structural economic reasons, have fallen behind in terms of income and employment and struggled to find a new raison d’etre. 

“The focus of this year’s IED Annual Conference could therefore not be better, as we explore issues around growth and place and the role of economic development. Purely from a structural perspective, the situation is a mess and it is small wonder economic development has failed to deliver in so many places. Our message to the incoming government is simple: the landscape needs to be simplified, there needs to be certainty of funding over the medium term and whatever is selected as an approach it needs to be in place for the long term.

“We would like to thank our speakers, sponsors and partners for their support in making the IED Annual Conference the ‘must-attend’ event that it is for anyone with an interest in economic development and regeneration issues.”

Full details of the conference, organised by Regen Events, can be found here:


Media are invited to attend the IED Annual Conference 2019 and arrangements can be made via Phil Smith, Institute of Economic Development PR consultant, on 01778 218180 / 07866 436159 /

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.