Beyond the Boundaries: Why cross-boundary collaboration matters and what this means for local enterprise partnerships

By working together on issues such as housing and transport, local authorities and businesses can achieve better economic outcomes.

Report published on 6 September 2010 by Andrew Carter

A new report from the Centre for Cities, produced in association with IBM.

Helping cities to maximise private sector jobs growth and manage public spending cuts will be vital if the UK economy is to experience anything approaching a strong recovery.  By local authorities and businesses working together on issues such as skills, housing and transport they can achieve better outcomes.

  • Cities’ real economic footprints go beyond their administrative boundaries. Policy decisions to support economic growth and job creation in areas like planning and housing, skills and transport need to be taken over the same area that people travel to work and that businesses engage with their suppliers and customers.
  • From September 2010 onwards, local enterprise partnerships will replace Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) as one of the main policies for boosting private sector jobs growth in England’s cities. The Centre for Cities supports the shift to local enterprise partnerships because we see them as a way of encouraging cross boundary collaboration.
  • Local enterprise partnerships will need to fit a range of different circumstances, but there is a strong case for only establishing partnerships that cover a real economic area.
  • Local enterprise partnerships’ objectives need to be realistic and to target the source of underlying weaknesses in their economies as well as capitalise upon their strengths. Government should provide incentives to local enterprise partnerships to pursue economic growth through policies that are right for their particular local circumstances.
  • Institutions are only part of the solution. Local enterprise partnerships need to be given real powers to shape their local economy, and the financial flexibilities that will allow them to fund new policy interventions.

Beyond the Boundaries is produced in association with