The Government recently signalled that it intends to implement Lord Heseltine’s proposals to boost economic growth by devolving spending and responsibilities to the local level. This includes a commitment from the Chancellor to introduce a Single Local Growth Fund of up to £49bn.
Competition is a core part of both Heseltine’s original proposal and the Government’s plans to drive up collaboration, creativity, commitment and ambition at the local level. However it is unclear how this process will function and how large the competed element may be. This event will explore:
- How much of the Fund should be competed for, what should be the priority criteria for success, and what forms of accountability are required?
- Is there a danger that weaker regional economies simply lose out? Will a national competition undermine the localism rationale for the reform?