Professor Simon Collinson was interviewed this morning (27/11/17), on Radio 4’s Today Show. The interview was part of a panel commentary on the Industrial Strategy, which was published by the government today.
Professor Collinson submitted a series of key points on the Industrial Strategy to the show, some of which was covered briefly in the interview:
- We need regional variations because assets, endowments and firm ecosystems vary by region, so places have different potential growth paths, based on different innate competitive advantages. They also have different local constraints on current productivity and future economic growth, so different problems to resolve and different forms of investment to make. In the Birmingham city-region housing and skills, plus key gaps in local infrastructure are the major blockages.
- Firms are currently clustered in particular places so the policies that relate to retaining current firms (post-Brexit) and attracting new investment, have to be tailored to the regional strengths and weaknesses in the context of an industrial strategy. Losing parts of Jaguar Land Rover would be a massive problem for the West Midlands, overshadowing most of interventions and investments made as part of an industrial strategy.
- A final challenge for central government is that UK regions also have evolved different levels of consensus/coherence, capacity and capability to develop local policies and managed investments to improve productivity and growth. In some places, Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, City Councils and anchor institutions like Universities and large firms are not united around a common strategic economic plan (SEP) or coordinated to manage local change.
To listen to the interview, please click here. The section on the Industrial Strategy starts at 15:35.
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