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Creating Stronger Regions - Review Of Regional Economic Policy

20th December 2022

Photograph of Creating Stronger Regions - Review Of Regional Economic Policy

A series of recommendations have been published to further develop regional economies and help deliver Scotland's economic transformation.

The Regional Economic Policy Review, carried out by an expert Advisory Group, proposes further supporting the eight Regional Economic Partnerships (REPs) which bring together local government, the private sector, education and skills providers, enterprise and skills agencies, and the third sector, to accelerate growth at regional and national levels.

It suggests a more entrepreneurial approach to working with the private sector and also recommends:

allowing more decision-making at a regional level on strategic priorities and how to deliver them, meaning work can be done at greater pace.

establishing further Regional Intelligence Hubs to develop regional expertise and analysis to assist decision making and reducing the need for paid consultants.

reducing duplication and simplifying funding sources, including from the UK and Scottish Governments, to enable more strategic use of investment.

increasing joint working with the Scottish Government to help REPs implement their economic strategies

Business Minister Ivan McKee said, "Regional Economic Partnerships bring disparate voices together to address important issues such as how to create high value jobs in areas of opportunity like renewable energy and the space industry.

"We need to ensure they can act quickly and decisively to deliver economic growth and these recommendations will help do that. While clear accountability and robust safeguards are required when deploying public funds, there is a balance to be struck which achieves that while enabling Partnerships to move at a pace that brings confidence to the private sector.

"We will now work with our partners to implement these findings and ensure the regions play a central role in the Scottish Government's National Strategy for Economic Transformation."

Professor of European Policy Studies at the University of Strathclyde, and a Director of the European Policies Research Centre. Professor John Bachtler co-chaired the Regional Economic Partnership Advisory Group (REPAG). He said:

"In addition to setting out what the future delivery of regional economic development in Scotland could look like, the review also examines how other countries use their regions to contribute to a Wellbeing Economy, allowing the Scottish Government to learn from best practice.

"The European Policies Research Centre has provided a wealth of evidence where regional scales offer economic opportunity, and REPAG are pleased that Scottish Ministers have embraced this approach with such enthusiasm."

Read the review in full here
Pdf 54 pages

The review was co-chaired by David Bell, Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling, and Professor Batchler, with representatives from local government and voluntary organisations.