Published: 16th Mar 2012

I suggested to a north east colleague last week that his area was not going to get growth in the foreseeable future.  He said ‘You don’t get economic growth unless you sing out loud for it – shy bairns get nee sweets’. So because ‘shy bairns get nee sweets’ we see the local enterprise partnerships (Leps) talking up their prospects even in areas where growth is very unlikely.  As our economy slumps along, credit ratings get threatened and deficit reduction rules over stimulus, Leps talk is ‘boosterist’.  Their area is ‘ripe for growth’, there is ‘investment potential’, ‘vibrant local labour markets’, ‘innovation culture’. They have ‘advanced manufacturing aims’, ‘export market strategies’. Nevertheless, it is blindingly obvious to many in the economic development field that Leps are work in progress, and in many cases ill-equipped to deal with the huge challenge of delivering economic growth in some areas. Many of us … (To read the full article, subscribe below)