House of Commons debate on the Industrial Strategy, 18 April 2018

As we leave the European Union, the Government’s industrial strategy provides an opportunity to drive the creation of a successful, world-leading economy. We welcome the strong focus on place as one of the five foundations of productivity and the building block of local industrial strategies.

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Key messages

  • We are committed to working with businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and partners to develop ambitious strategies, many of which will need devolved powers and budgets in order to deliver benefits to local communities. 
  • In order to see UK-wide growth all areas need to be able to draw on the right powers and adequate funding to deliver successful and inclusive economies. Currently, more than £23 billion of public money is spent on growth, regeneration and skills spread across 70 different national funding streams and managed by 22 government departments and agencies.
  • If we are to have a successful, modern and globally competitive economy, one which enables everyone to succeed, it is essential that the industrial strategy recognises the different strengths and opportunities that each area brings and the vital contribution of local government.
  • In particular, skills initiatives will only work if they are planned and coordinated locally with other initiatives to target training of the current and future workforce. Research shows that if the skills gap is not addressed we risk 4 per cent of future economic growth – equivalent to a loss of £90 billion economic output.
  • Councils have a unique understanding of their local economies and responsibility for key levers of local growth, including strategic infrastructure planning, land use planning and strong partnerships with business and other public sector leaders. They have an important leadership role in developing local industrial strategies.

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House of Commons debate on the Industrial Strategy, 18 April 2018