Major public spending constraints and an uncertain economic environment mean that national and local government face an uphill struggle in achieving their objectives around economic growth. Policy approaches towards sub-national growth need to be more realistic and they need to deploy scarce public sector resources more effectively than they have in the past. This paper has provided decision makers at all levels of government with some advice about how this can be achieved.
The paper’s key recommendations can be summarised as follows:
• Attitudes towards economic rebalancing and business growth policy need to be more realistic across all levels of government.
• Local enterprise partnerships should be given their own un-ringfenced source of funding and should focus on getting the basics right in their areas by improving skills and the general business environment.
• The Regional Growth Fund should primarily be used to support jobs growth in areas where job creation can be sustained.
We are grateful to KPMG in the UK for their generous support and assistance in developing this report. We are also grateful to our local authority partners, Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council.
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