Economic growth

NIC launches future of rail consultation

26/03/2020

The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a consultation on the future rail landscape of the North and the Midlands as part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

North of Tyne mayor announces nearly £20m funding package to ‘boost’ business

03/03/2020

The mayor of North of Tyne has announced a £19.75m funding package to support business growth and innovation.

Councils set out joint vision for £100m transport transformation

18/02/2020

Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council have submitted a bid for over £100m funding to enhance transport links between the two cities.

Freeports ‘will need to justify special status’

10/02/2020

Government plans to open up to 10 'Freeports' in the UK have been met with scepticism, despite claims that they would ‘unlock a new era of jobs and prosperity’.

West Midlands towns set up board to unlock £3.6bn of funding

31/01/2020

Newcastle-under-Lyme and Kidsgrove are pushing ahead with ambitious plans to unlock millions of pounds of Government investment designed to give towns a boost.

Council chiefs call for devolution of skills funding

16/01/2020

Six million people in England risk being without a job or in work they are over-qualified for by 2030, council chiefs have warned.

Former SSI steelworks secures £71m funding boost

10/01/2020

The Government has confirmed an extra £71m will be spent to get the former SSI steelworks in Redcar ready for redevelopment.

Building a better healthcare cluster

09/01/2020

Outside of the Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London, only the North West has been able to develop successful science and technology clusters. Neil Murray reports.

Pilot areas announced as part of effort to ‘rejuvenate’ high streets

02/01/2020

The Government has announced 14 new pilot areas that will receive tailored expert support to assist in rejuvenating their town centres.

Liverpool to host ‘first permanent’ city zip line

20/12/2019

Liverpool could be host to the ‘first permanent’ city zip line in the UK, the city council has announced.

Maximising the benefits of One Public Estate

18/12/2019

Donna Heath says a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

County leaders call for an end to ‘city centric policy obsession’

18/12/2019

Councils have urged the new Government to focus less on cities and to invest more in towns and deprived communities to help level up ‘left-behind’ areas.

Top 100: Our most popular local government stories of 2019

10/12/2019

From calls to a 10% pay rise for council staff to declaring a climate change emergency, here is our countdown of the 100 most popular stories on LocalGov during 2019.

Report highlights nine inspirational towns

29/11/2019

A collection of case studies to show how towns can prevent decline and create new opportunities for change has been published.

Regional inequality in UK is worst than comparable countries, says think tank

27/11/2019

Regional inequalities in the UK are ‘far worse than in any comparable country’, a think tank has warned today.

Viewing economic development differently

26/11/2019

Sustainability: is it time to view economic development through a different lens? Mark Lynam reports.

Landscape to deliver growth 'needs simplified'

26/11/2019

The head of the Institute of Economic Development has hit out at England’s ‘dazzling array of bodies and schemes’ to deliver growth that are ‘confusing even to seasoned commentators’.

Halving regional productivity gap would boost economy by £83bn

26/11/2019

The UK economy could be boosted by £83bn per year if regions with below average productivity could close just half of their shortfall, according to a new report.

Welsh growth deal worth £240m makes ‘progress’

05/11/2019

The UK and Welsh governments have signed a growth deal with local representatives that could see the creation of 4,000 jobs in the North of Wales.

Whitehall announces £18m for a dozen ‘left behind' areas

04/11/2019

The education secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced that the Opportunity Area programme will receive more funding to help improve educational outcomes and careers advice.

Queen's Speech 19: Devolution White Paper to set out 'structural reform'

14/10/2019

An English devolution White Paper is planned by the Government, it has been confirmed in the Queen’s Speech.

Towns ‘starved’ of investment, think tank says

08/10/2019

A think tank has warned that towns are ‘starved of the investment they badly need’ as most foreign direct investment goes to the major cities.

Trafford Council signs £50m property deal

03/10/2019

Trafford Council and Bruntwood Works have exchanged contracts on a £50m joint venture.

HS2 proposals could bring £1.4bn of benefits, Midlands transport body says

09/09/2019

New plans submitted to the review of the controversial HS2 scheme propose directly connecting the city centres of Birmingham and Nottingham and Leicester and Leeds with high speed trains.

100 places chosen to develop new town deals

06/09/2019

Towns across England have been invited to develop proposals for new multi-million pound Town Deals.

Council leaders calls for green light on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail

03/09/2019

Council leaders have joined a new campaign to ensure the Government goes ahead with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).

Tackle racial inequalities to promote growth in the North, think tanks says

16/08/2019

A new policy briefing has called for racial inequalities to be tackled as part of an inclusive economic growth agenda for the North.

Free-trade zones to ‘turbocharge’ investment, Whitehall claims

02/08/2019

The Government has invited ports and airports across the UK to bid to become one of 10 new free trade areas in a move it argues will boost post-Brexit trade.

PM announces £300m for devolved nations

29/07/2019

The prime minister has announced £300m of new funding to support the expansion of Growth Deals across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as he reassures the UK that Brexit will not threaten the union.

How cities can use the circular economy to benefit their citizens

17/07/2019

Joke Dufourmont outlines the three key ways local authorities can attract jobs, investment and social capital in their local circular economy.

Council welcomes £65m Growth Deal

12/07/2019

Moray Council has said that its area’s economy is ‘set to be transformed’ by a £65m Growth Deal, announced yesterday by the UK and Scottish governments.

LEPs ‘lack transparency’ despite receiving £12bn of Government funding

05/07/2019

The Government has ‘no real understanding’ of the impact which the Local Growth Fund has had on local economic growth despite investing £12bn of taxpayers’ money, MPs say.

Northern Powerhouse: The first five years

01/07/2019

The Northern Powerhouse has celebrated its fifth birthday. But what is it, and what has it achieved? Mark Whitehead investigates.

Rebalancing the economy: our time is now

27/06/2019

Nigel Wilcock calls for a different approach to tackle regional imbalances in economic growth.

Post-Brexit free trade zones could ‘rebalance the economy’, think tank claims

25/06/2019

Whitehall should establish free trade zones in most deprived areas after Brexit in order to incentivise growth and rebalance the economy, think tank argues.

Innovation is the new regeneration

24/06/2019

Rachel Dickie explains how a new joint venture will help cities across the country to create new ‘innovation districts’.

Measuring success is more than just boosting GDP

20/06/2019

The past decade in local government has been dominated by pushing forward local economies, with subtle shifts in focus, but tirelessly chasing GDP, says Heather Jameson. But is there a new way?

MPs to investigate UK's regional imbalances

14/06/2019

A new inquiry into regional imbalances in the UK economy has been launched by the Treasury Committee.

Protecting town centres

10/06/2019

Debenhams CVA: Josh Myerson and Andrew Haughey explain what councils and local authorities can do to protect their town centres.

Mayor calls for creation of 'free trade zones' in city centres

05/06/2019

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called for a 'wholesale review' of the business rates system to save struggling high streets.

Khan launches £100m SME investment fund

31/05/2019

The mayor of London yesterday launched the largest ever fund for small and medium enterprises, which includes £14m to support the transition to a circular economy.

Devolution necessary for ‘rebalancing’ economy, report says

30/05/2019

Power must be devolved to a ‘comprehensive framework’ of mayoral and combined authorities and rural counties in order to rebalance the economy, report says.

Harnessing the power of place can lead to better pay

17/05/2019

Douglas White explains why the Living Wage Places movement is gaining traction across the country.

Think tank calls for creation of a British Investment Bank

15/05/2019

An investment bank should be set up to 'kick start a productivity revolution' after Brexit, according to a local government think tank.

Whitehall announces £105m boost for Northern Ireland

14/05/2019

The Government has announced a £105m package to help boost the ‘economic potential’ of the Derry-Londonderry region.

Council to launch UK's first city-wide digital currency

10/05/2019

Belfast City Council has announced plans to launch the UK's first incentive-based digital currency.

Whitehall ‘unwilling’ to help the high street, committee says

08/05/2019

The Government is ‘unwilling’ to give high streets a ‘fighting chance’ in the battle with online retailers, a select committee has concluded.

How digitalisation is transforming Belfast into a leading economy

17/04/2019

Martin McFadyen explores how technical innovation and improved connectivity has helped Belfast and NI transform into a leading knowledge economy with global investment appeal.

The second coming

29/03/2019

Paul Brown explains the grand compromise seeking to make Greater Manchester a top global city region.

Five areas chosen for Future Places scheme

13/03/2019

Five areas have been announced to take part in a programme to recognise and support 'high quality placemaking'.

Holyrood passes £42.5bn budget but warns of Brexit recession

22/02/2019

Holyrood has approved the 2019-20 budget which will see billions invested into public services — but warned Brexit could push Scotland into recession.

Local authority business provision ‘lacks transparency’, MSPs say

20/02/2019

Scottish MSPs have criticised a local authority provision that helps businesses grow for lacking ‘transparency, accountability and alignment’.

British cities bear the brunt of austerity, think tank reveals

28/01/2019

A think tank has called for an end to local government austerity as it reveals that Whitehall cuts have hit cities twice as hard as the rest of Britain.

Mayor Khan calls for withdrawal of Article 50

10/12/2018

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to withdraw Article 50 to protect the capital’s economy from the effects of Brexit.

Brexit will not halt economic growth, says Walkley

29/11/2018

Economic growth will not grind to a halt when we leave the European Union, chief executive of Homes England Nick Walkley has predicted.

Councils could generate £320bn with new housing powers

29/10/2018

Local authorities would be able to generate £320bn for the wider economy if they had the powers to build a ‘new generation’ of high-quality council housing.

Reform Apprenticeship Levy ahead of Brexit, CBI says

09/10/2018

Business leaders have urged the Government to reform the Apprenticeship Levy in order to help solve some of the economy’s challenges ahead of Brexit.

Whitehall 'neglecting' smaller cities and towns, report warns

03/10/2018

The Government’s focus on major cities ‘neglects’ the contribution that smaller cities, towns and communities can make to economic growth, according to study.

Perfect partners for community growth

26/09/2018

Michelle Ovens explains how partnerships between local government and small businesses can dive more social impact at a low cost.

Brexit towns to be 'hardest hit' by impact, researchers warn

19/09/2018

Towns that voted in favour of Brexit will be hardest hit by its effects for the next 10 years, researchers have warned.

Ministers to 'super charge' LEP performance

24/07/2018

Ministers have published plans to ‘super charge’ the performance and accountability of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) following a review.

Building an inclusive economy in Kirklees

12/07/2018

Neil McInroy and Cllr Shabir Pandor explain how Kirklees’ new approach to economic development in the borough is informing the council’s inclusive growth agenda.

Whitehall launches new ‘Council for the North’

09/07/2018

The Government will launch a modern day ‘Council for the North’ in an effort to overcome the historic North-South divide.

Support cities for a £200bn boost to the economy, says Key Cities

27/06/2018

Key cities could add a further £214bn to the economy over the next decade if the Government supports them to raise productivity to the national average, the Key Cities Group has said.

Think tank warns struggling high streets are 'too reliant on retail'

26/06/2018

City centres must swap shops for offices, housing and public space if they are to prosper, according to a leading think tank.

LEPs 'failing' rural communities, says campaign group

25/06/2018

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been accused of having a negative effect on the countryside.

Councils warn about ‘damaging’ economic development funding cuts

18/06/2018

One in seven local authorities have had their funding for economic development cut over the past five years, according to new research.

Cities must embrace technological change to prosper in future

18/06/2018

As we stand on the cusp of another age of automation, Andrew Carter says cities need to prepare and adapt to the coming changes to prosper in the future.

From ghost town to go-to town

21/05/2018

What can local authorities learn from Altrincham to help regenerate Britain's town centres? Conor Leyden reports.

Four East Midlands authorities explore devolution options

02/05/2018

Four county council leaders in the East Midlands have taken the first step towards a ‘future devolution deal.’

Inequality holding back growth potential of places warns report

19/04/2018

Inequality is holding back the full growth potential of places, according to the results of the annual Vibrant Economy Index.

Councils must have more say in transport planning, report says

18/04/2018

Local authorities must be involved in transport planning in the north of England to ensure increased connectivity delivers sustainable growth, planners say.

Tough decisions needed to protect commercial heart of cities

11/04/2018

As urban centres change transform, the priority should be on protecting and expanding the commercial space in city centres, rather than encouraging more residential development, argues Andrew Carter.

Belfast appoints resilience commissioner

10/04/2018

Belfast City Council has appointed a new commissioner to help the city prepare for any scenario that might prevent it from functioning properly.

Council chiefs have 'low confidence' in delivering statutory services

28/03/2018

Council bosses have warned they do not have the adequate powers and resources to deliver statutory services in a new survey.

Planning laws should be reformed to protect commercial space, think tank says

21/03/2018

Major cities in the North and Midlands are growing rapidly, but the Government needs to take action to protect the commercial space driving this growth, think tank says.

Chorley Council outlines ambitious digital hub plan

15/03/2018

A £8.4m scheme is set to put Chorley Council at the centre of the digital sector in Lancashire.

Council chiefs 'pessimistic' about Brexit

06/03/2018

More than six out of ten council chief executives and leaders believe Brexit will be damaging to their local economy, a new survey has revealed.

Edinburgh most attractive city for inward investment says report

20/02/2018

Investment potential shifts away from the South East as structural weaknesses around housing and infrastructure threaten UK’s most established centres, report says.

Can local government lead the world?

20/02/2018

Liz Zeidler explains why a new system has been launched to measure 'true' progress and prosperity.

Key factors for making local area ‘thrive’ revealed

19/02/2018

A Bristol-based charity launched a new report today into the key factors that make up a ‘thriving’ local area - and it goes beyond a narrow focus on gross domestic product.

'Rise of the robots' could put one in five jobs at risk by 2030

29/01/2018

Automation and globalisation may help boost jobs across the country but they will also compound the North/South divide, a report has warned today.

Devolution - have the wheels fallen off the wagon?

17/01/2018

With the news that no new devolution deals were agreed last year, Mark Whitehead explores why the policy seems to have come to a grinding halt.

The top 10 things local government can expect in 2018

10/01/2018

Tiffany Cloynes outlines her predictions for the top 10 issues for local government in 2018.

MSPs warn ‘significant’ issues with City Region Deals must be addressed

08/01/2018

A number of concerns about Scotland’s City Region Deals have been raised today by a Holyrood Committee.

A seaside success story

04/01/2018

Duncan Johnston explores how Bournemouth Borough Council is using a joint venture to help reinvigorate and change the perception of the town.

Think tank urges every city to set up a local Inclusive Growth Investment Commission

13/12/2017

Cities should establish new bodies to coordinate and finance attempts to extend prosperity more widely, according to a think tank report.

Councils urged to unlock £7bn of untapped assets

12/12/2017

Councils should assess the 'social value' of community businesses to help keep local areas strong and vibrant, according to a new report.

Coventry named UK City of Culture 2021

08/12/2017

Coventry has been chosen to be the UK's City of Culture for 2021.

Whitehall infrastructure plans could save £15bn

06/12/2017

The Government estimates new plans published today to improve the country’s infrastructure and boost the construction sector’s productivity could save up to £15bn.

Industrial Strategy snubs councils

27/11/2017

Business secretary Greg Clark has snubbed councils and empowered local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in the Government’s long-awaited Industrial Strategy.

Lord Adonis calls for 'ground-breaking' deal for economic growth

17/11/2017

Council leaders have welcomed plans for a major development in the area between Oxford and Cambridge which is estimated could add hundreds of billions of pounds to the national economy.

Think tank warns of huge disparities in productivity across the country

16/11/2017

Cities in the South East of England are nearly twice as productive as other places in Britain, according to new research.

UK cities ‘need housing and transport strategies’

07/11/2017

UK cities are becoming more prosperous but success comes with a price tag of less affordable housing and longer commutes, according to research by PwC and Demos.

Putting the Our Manchester strategy into practice

07/11/2017

After six-months as Manchester’s new chief executive, Joanne Roney talks to William Eichler about her 'brutal' introduction to the job.

Launch of grass-roots project to tackle local inequality

26/10/2017

Seven areas have been chosen to share £8m to create a network of new community businesses in their areas.

Report highlights growth in Greater Thames Valley region

20/10/2017

Nearly 37,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) were launched in the Greater Thames Valley in one year, a new report into the economic impact of the GTV has revealed.

Combined authority bids for £200m government investment

17/10/2017

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has bid for more than £200m of government investment in its Autumn Budget submission.

Northern Powerhouse gets £400m funding boost

02/10/2017

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce an extra £400m for the north of England at the Conservative Party conference today.

Mayor warns about 'reputational damage' caused by LEP

29/09/2017

The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in Cambridgeshire is causing the area ‘reputational damage’ the combined authority’s mayor has warned.

Building beautiful image

Building beautiful

Edward Nash argues the challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.
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