Regional economic policy review: paper 2 – the regional perspective

In this review the Regional Economic Policy Advisory Group examine why, and in which policy areas, economic development works well on a regional scale, assessing how its delivery can contribute to the aims of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

6. Conclusions

6.1 The regional perspective highlights what regions are capable of achieving in the current landscape and with the barriers that are in place. The conclusions from this paper focus on how removal of those barriers and support for regions to continue developing and progressing economic development at this scale can lead to a fairer, greener, more innovative Scotland.

Regional Autonomy

6.1.1 This paper provides clear evidence that REPs are capable of planning and delivering targeted, significant economic development that aligns with national priorities. If the Scottish Government were to avoid traditional vertical accountability and empower regional partners to pursue economic development in the regional space then we would see more of this targeted response leading to successful implementation of the NSET ambitions.

Regional Intelligence Hubs

6.1.2 The Intelligence Hub established in Glasgow has led to greater data being captured by the region allowing them to use this data to support business case development, applications for funding, monitor progress amongst other benefits. It's the conclusion that the establishment of this Hub in Glasgow has been a cost-effective investment that has sped up progress in the City Deal and allowed for evidence-based applications for Levelling Up funds and Green Port status without having to procure outside contractors to capture the data.


6.1.3 Funding issued to the REPs over the past two financial years has proved very beneficial and has been utilised to support the regions respond to economic shocks whilst aligning responses to the national vision. This paper concludes that funding issued to the REPs would be of benefit to the delivery of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, including that of future UK Government funding.

SG Placed Based Policy Making

6.1.4 It is REPAGs view that the Scottish Government can mirror the kind of policy alignment we see coalesced around regions, developing a placed based, regional, strategic conversation across relevant policy areas – making more joined up funding decisions, using existing streams to support shared outcomes.



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