We argue that a more effective policy response is a new form of Enterprise Zones for the 21st century – which we’ve called ‘Local Growth Zones’. These zones would offer the Government the opportunity to trial different types of interventions which are sensitive to an area’s growth challenges. Some of the key elements of these zones could be rapid planning processes and funding towards skills support. A menu of options would give different areas — both deprived and those with greater economic potential — the opportunity to experiment with different interventions and is likely to provide enterprise assistance at lower cost. This approach to Enterprise Zones aligns with the Government’s localism objective, allowing areas to bid to be a Local Growth Zone and then to negotiate with Government which initiatives – chosen from a policy menu – will best drive economic growth in their area.
This short report is part of our research strand on financial incentives, supported by CB Richard Ellis and SNR Denton.