Learning from English devolution deals

In this report commissioned by LGA, New Economy, the policy and strategy arm of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, presents the findings of independent research on perspectives from local and central government leaders who have been involved in the devolution deal process in England to date.

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Drawing on the experience of the devolution deals agreed since November 2014 – and Greater Manchester’s experience in particular – the research has found four major themes critical to the success of a distinctively English form of devolution.

  • Local authorities considering devolution need a dynamic understanding of their area, its key issues and opportunities
  • Local authorities should look to formalise partnership working in order to develop a track-record of success
  • Building support for devolution relies on external communication which focuses on consistent strategic messages
  • Negotiation with government is one the most challenging areas for all localities and one which takes time to perfect. Effective negotiation must be based upon a solid understanding of government’s requirements and 'red line’ areas on both sides.