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Written on 18 Mar 2020

Bennett Institute publishes new local Industrial strategy advice

The Bennett Institute has published the second in its series of papers exploring the future of Industrial Strategy, this time focussing on local strategies with a case-study piece on Manchester.

Written by John Holden, Associate Vice-President for Major Special Projects at the University of Manchester, prior to joining the University of Manchester, John led the development of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy. 

His paper provides insights into Greater Manchester’s experience, as one of three national ‘trailblazers’, developing one of the UK’s first Local Industrial Strategies. Conclusions are provided for other localities developing their future strategies.

In a significant shift from previous approaches to industrial strategy in the UK, the November 2017 national ‘modern’ industrial strategy identified ‘place’ as a key driver of productivity and announced that Government would work with cities and regions across the UK to develop Local Industrial Strategies.

John’s key findings from the pioneering Manchester strategy advises to:

  • Develop an independently assessed evidence base to understand local trends and to ensure the strategy is based on the facts about local strengths, opportunities and challenges rather than preconceptions about the area.
  • Ensure there is clear and involved leadership and governance arrangements locally, and co-produce with government from an early stage, to ensure the strategy meets both local and national ambitions.
  • Employ early and frequent consultation with a wide range of local and national partners, across the public, private, and third sectors, is essential to secure buy-in and commitment to implementation.
  • Identify and utilise the policy levers that are already in local control so that the strategy reflects local capacity and delivery capability. New powers and resources can deliver better outcomes and should be identified, but securing them should not be made into a barrier to hold back implementation.
  • To move straight on to implementation once the strategy has been agreed . Use the tools and funds within local control to start delivering the agreed strategy immediately and maintain momentum.

Read the full paper ‘Trailblazing a Local Industrial Strategy in Greater Manchester’ here.

The paper is part of the series ‘An Industrial Strategy for Tomorrow’.
Read the first paper ‘Inside the Black Box of Manufacturing’ here.