The Government was elected with a commitment to ‘rebalancing’ the economy and helping to reduce the North-South divide. However, it is clear that there is still much more to be done to narrow that gap. Recent figures showed that, although the economy of London and the South East is now larger than in 2008, the economy of the North East is some 8% smaller. Many commentators have warned that there is a potential of the UK economy becoming more geographically imbalanced.
This event will consider how government can help ensure strong and sustainable growth outside of London, and will consider the following key questions:
- Can a modern ‘industrial policy’ help to narrow the North- South divide?
- Can devolving more power to local areas help boost regional economies?
- Do the emerging innovation hubs in places such as the West Midlands act as a potential model for renewal?
- What lessons can be learnt from past attempts to regenerate towns and cities in the UK and overseas?
- How can businesses work with LEPs and what should the role of LEPs be in growth creation?
- How can the right local environment be created and opportunities around supply chains be maximised?
- What is the role of government in helping to create the environment for private sector job creation outside of the South East?
CHAIR - Richard Davies, Economics Correspondent, The Economist
Lord Heseltine, Chair, Regional Growth Fund and author, No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth
Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth
Dave Smith, Chief Executive, Sunderland City Council
David Skelton, Deputy Director, Policy Exchange
@policy_exchange Very illuminating discussions at the regional growth event yesterday, thank you.— Byfield (@Byfield_PR) February 14, 2013