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Death of RDAs not the end for Manchester says city council

Regional leaders hope new system may bring them closer to Whitehall

Published on July 21st 2010.


Death of RDAs not the end for Manchester says city council

The abolition of regional development agencies could allow Manchester to forge improved links with central government, according to the city council.

'There is a strong case to explore the opportunities for new partnership arrangements with UKTI and government on inward investment.'

A report drawn up for the council’s executive said that although organisations such as the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) are set to be scrapped and replaced with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), opportunities still exist to develop Greater Manchester’s economy.

'While Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) priorities would become the essential core functional bases of the LEP for Greater Manchester, there is a strong case to explore the opportunities for new partnership arrangements with UKTI and government on inward investment,' it said.

'This would build on some of the Centres of Excellence which have been established in Greater Manchester and provide new opportunities to align these activities with trade generally; and, following the work undertaken on the outcome of MIER (the Manchester Independent Economic Review) and the city region engagement process; the need to develop relevant and coordinated business support arrangements which reflect the actual needs of local business, and relationships which also help develop a sound understanding of what these businesses need to promote growth.

'There is also the opportunity to develop a stronger and more integrated focus on skills.' The council said it would also want to include tourism within the functions of the LEP, 'building on the established and successful brand we have developed,' and explore how it can influence key areas of policy such as science and research.

The council claims that a partnership board should be set up to work with the LEP once it is established, including representation from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and the business community, including the Business Leadership Council, Chamber of Commerce, Manchester Solutions, MIDAS, Marketing Manchester, CNE and Pro.Manchester.

The report said that the changes being made to regional structures and public funding bodies would 'almost certainly result in one of the most difficult public spending frameworks ever brought forward and create major challenges around the transfer of some powers and influence from the north west to Whitehall.'

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, is to chair a group of regional leaders to develop more details on any new structure, and is expected to produce a report by September.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Time for ChangeJuly 21st 2010.

It's funny how after every change of government, there is a change of the COMPLETE infrastructure of how the country works. Surely, some Labour fat cats on high salaries need to be replaced by ConDem fat cats on equally high salaries. Efficiency? Surely not!

Lord TriesmanJuly 21st 2010.

Yeah! What was the reason for kicking me out again?

Leigh ScottJuly 22nd 2010.

to me this means that inward-investment agencies and chamber of commerce et-al will now need to deliver a proper service to manchester as opposed to bumbling on the new business and development bandwagon,which dips in and out of initiatives created by others.

It's time to justify your worth folks!

Lord TriesmanJuly 22nd 2010.

Why? I did a good job, didn't I? We qualified for the World Cup, did we not?

Time for ChangeJuly 24th 2010.

There we go: 'Heseltine to chair £1bn fund to help regions'. Labour RDAs out, Tories in...

AnonymousJuly 25th 2010.

Does any normal person understand any of this. Most GM firms are SME's who now appear to be confronted by a growing range of quangos, local and national,... some like MIDAS (not mentioned) which supports inward investment which seem reasonable successful;others like Marketing Manchester I have my doubts about, It is extraordinary to learn the GMITA has won an award for being the best English ITA. What are the other like?
Could the organisations names actually be spelt out to make it easier to trace them.

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