Current British government economic development policy emphasises regional and sub-regional scale, multi-agent initiatives that form part of national frameworks to encourage a 'bottom up' approach to economic development. An emphasis on local multi-agent initiatives was also the mission of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). Using new survey evidence this article tracks the progress of a number of initiatives established under the TECs, using the TEC Discretionary Fund as an example. It assesses the ability of successor bodies to be more effective in promoting local economic development. Survey evidence is used to confirm that many projects previously set up by the TECs continue to operate successfully under new partnership arrangements. However as new structures have developed, and policy has become more centralized, it is less likely that similar local initiatives will be developed in future. There is evidence to suggest that with the end of the TECs a gap has emerged in the institutional infrastructure for local economic development, particularly with regard to workforce development. Much will depend in future on how the Regional Development Agencies deploy their growing power and resources.
- economic development projects
- economic councils
- economic development
- economic policy