New Local Government Network (NLGN), in partnership with Barrow Cadbury Trust, is working on a project to identify the opportunities for, and barriers to, local authorities in England delivering inclusive growth. It will explore what resources and levers already exist that can influence inclusive growth, and outline the range of actions and measures local authorities and partners can take to achieve inclusive growth outcomes.
The Government acknowledged in the Industrial Strategy that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to national policy-making has not worked for all parts of the UK. Addressing regional imbalances in economic and social prosperity, it recognised that national policy should be more adaptable to distinctive local contexts and more aligned to local strategic plans and ambitions. The drive for more inclusive growth, where the benefits of economic growth reach all people and places in the UK, therefore has to be led by local leaders who know the unique characteristics of their place and can work closely and directly with the communities who live there.. Inclusive approaches to economic growth complement and enhance conventional local growth strategies, which focus predominantly on measures to boost productivity rather than initiatives designed specifically to help people contribute to and benefit from productivity gains.
Local authorities have already demonstrated leadership in developing successful inclusive growth initiatives. For example, Preston Council’s community wealth building has received national attention as an embodiment of a new approach to local economic growth. Many councils are now expressly pursuing an inclusive growth agenda. These initiatives are at an early stage, but there is still little evidence on the practicalities of an inclusive growth agenda.
A series of peer learning workshops with local authority inclusive growth practitioners, will culminate in a report setting out a framework for local authorities to deliver inclusive growth in practice in January 2020.