Policy Summary: Government requirements for local industrial strategies

POLICY: Local Industrial Strategies - Policy Prospectus.

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ISSUED BY: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

ISSUE DATE: 1 October 2018

BACKGROUND: The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the government’s national industrial strategy last December, which requires business-led local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and mayoral combined authorities to produce local industrial strategies. The 2018 National Planning Policy Framework states that planning policies should have "regard to local industrial strategies and other local policies for economic development and regeneration". This prospectus sets out the requirements that local industrial strategies must meet.

KEY POINTS: The prospectus states that "government agreement of local industrial strategies must be consistent with this document". Strategies should "set out clearly defined priorities for how cities, towns and rural areas will maximise their contribution to UK productivity", it says. "They will better coordinate economic policy at the local level and ensure greater collaboration across boundaries." Strategies "will be long-term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the national industrial strategy". Strategies "should address local strengths and weaknesses, as well as market opportunities and failures", the prospectus says. "Barriers to growth also vary across the country – and within localities – so the appropriate mix of policies to boost productivity will vary too," it adds. Such responses "might include ambitions to drive housing growth, make use of land supply, improve local skills or strengthen communities". The document goes on to say that strategies should also "set out the spatial impacts of national and local policy across our cities, towns and rural areas".

The prospectus says strategies must "set out a robust and open evidence base" and "map out specific opportunities and challenges". They latter "may involve", in some areas, an emphasis on land supply or "working with relevant local authorities in the delivery of housing where it is a barrier to growth". It also says strategies should "clarify how combined authorities and LEPs will work in partnership with public and private stakeholders to achieve their ambitions". It goes on to say that strategies should further "prioritise specific, achievable and long-term ambitions" and "set out clear plans to evaluate progress".

The government said it expects local industrial strategies to "help guide the strategic use of local funding streams". Agreeing a strategy with central government "will be a necessary condition" for mayoral combined authorities and LEPs "to draw down any future local growth funding being deployed through them", the prospectus says. Strategies should also "engage and involve business in developing a shared vision for the long-term", which means the documents must be a "product of extensive consultation with businesses, a broad range of public partners and the civil society sector". The first set of local industrial strategies will be agreed with government by March 2019, the document says, with all places’ strategies agreed by early 2020.

The document can be found here. 

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