Our Economic Growth and Recovery Improvement programme provided resources and support to enhance the role and capacity of local councils to deliver economic growth.
Our 2022/23 economic growth support offer included two key support programmes:
- our Economic Growth Advisers’ programme, which boosted council capacity and shared learning at a corporate and political level
- our Economic Recovery programme, which delivered tools and resources including roundtables and masterclasses for councillors and officers to:
- support councils to tackle unemployment; address skills shortages
- design a healthy high street
- provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- adapt local economies to climate change impacts and low carbon growth
- help councils to improve the digital skills of their local businesses.
All the outputs, case studies and results can be found on our Economic growth hub for all councils to access and learn from.
During 2022/23, programme highlights and achievements included
- 100 per cent of respondents said that participation in the economic growth masterclass course helped improve their ability to carry out their role
- 90 per cent of respondents said that the that the Economic Growth Advisers programme provided them with skills to address local economic challenges
- 93 per cent of councillors and officers who responded to the surveys stated that the economic growth learning and development opportunities they participated in improved their ability to carry out their role
- 91 per cent of respondents said that their participation in the economic growth roundtables improved their ability to carry out their role
- we hosted two national Economic Growth Advisers showcase events, with over 230 attendees.
Case study – Guidance on business support to reduce area-wide carbon footprint
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham declared a climate emergency in 2019 and committed to making the council zero carbon by 2030, supporting the borough to do so by 2050. Sustainable X was engaged through the LGA Economic Growth Advisers programme to research and advise how to best engage and support businesses to reduce carbon and waste. The resulting report recommended six low-funding and six high-funding initiatives based on business drivers for change, with a focus on communicating the business case for action and segmenting the market.
Lessons learned include the importance of incentives and leverage, as well as the potential benefits of developing the local retrofit market. Barking and Dagenham is a challenging business community to engage. To address this problem, the council has bought access to a sustainability action planning tool for up to 500 local businesses and is working with its local business support provider to encourage take up, identify potential influencers and early adopters, and embed sustainability support into existing business support. Further levers and incentives, including procurement requirements, are being explored.