City Region and Growth Deals have been positive for Scotland’s economy. They have enhanced regional collaboration and provided a mode of delivery through which current infrastructure projects may not otherwise have gone ahead.
However, with deals being developed against an evolving national policy backdrop, there is a lack of clarity over how to measure long-term success, what constitutes value for money and how they’ve contributed to wellbeing and the refreshed National Performance Framework.
Furthermore, the level of accountability to communities over deal spending varies, and communities have had little involvement in formal decision-making structures. It's also unclear why some infrastructure projects are approved over others and whether councils are taking steps to mitigate the risks entailed - particularly where external partners are involved.
There’s a lot to gain from the involvement of other partners, particularly universities, colleges, enterprise and small businesses. However, some councils and partners lack the expertise and skills required to attract partnerships and optimise the associated benefits.
The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery’s report ‘Towards a Robust, Resilient, Wellbeing Economy for Scotland’, a blueprint for recovery from the pandemic-induced economic crisis, provided an opportunity to redress some of the issues outlined above. If these are resolved, City Region and Growth Deals have the potential to help Scotland bounce back and “build back better” from the catastrophe that’s currently unfolding.
So join Holyrood Communications as we discuss the issues identified in the Audit Scotland report and how they can be resolved. We’ll also look at how City Region and Growth Deals can/do contribute to wellbeing in Scotland and exhibit best practice in deal governance. Finally, we will examine strategic priorities going forward, particularly considering COVID-19, and the capacity for inclusive economic growth.
09:30 Registration and Refreshments
10:00 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair
10:05 Session 1: Context: "Delivering in a Challenging Backdrop for the Public Sector”
Professor Duncan Maclennan, Professor in Public Policy, University of Glasgow & Member, Audit Scotland Advisory Group on City Region and Growth Deals
Senior representative, audit
10:40 Questions and Discussion
11:00 In the Spotlight: The Tay Cities Deal: The Prototype?
The Tay Cities Deal has benefitted from being conceived broadly once policy had been formulated at a national level, to-date. As such it exhibits many of the features of the ideal city deal. As per the flow of policy, there was a regional economic strategy produced first, considering issues raised by the Community Plans and the Local Outcome Improvement Plan. The strategy then informed the deal proposal.
The objectives of the Tay Cities Deal are based on the same principles at the national Economic Strategy, including an incoporation of and clear emphasis upon inclusive economic growth.
The enterprise and skills agencies played a relatively large role in developing the deal and considerable effort was made to consult a wide range of stakeholders at the outset and a commitment has been made to ensure local priorities are included and progressed in and by the deal.
Senior representative, Tay Cities Deal
11:30 Refreshments and Networking
11:45 Session 2: Post-COVID City Deals: Delivering Inclusive Economic Growth; Ensuring Robust Accountability and Building on Regional Collaboration Fostered To-Date
Senior representative, City Deal
Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, CLES
Senior representative, Universities
Senior representative, Other Jurisdiction
13:05 Lunch and Networking
13:45 Interactive Session: How Can City Region and Growth Deals Be Aligned with the National Performance Framework and How Do they Contribute to Wellbeing in Scotland?
14:25 Session 3: Best Practice in Working with the Private Sector; Involving Small Businesses and Forging Successful Alliances with Universities, Colleges and Other Partners
Senior representative, Universities
Senior representative, Small Business
Senior representative, Business (x2)
15:15 Session 4: Priorities for Government
Senior representative, Scottish Government
Senior representative, UK Government
16:15 Closing remarks from Chair
16:20 Close of Event
Book now or email or call Adam on 0131 285 1692
If you have an inspiring case study or a project that you think is relevant, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are always on the lookout for new speakers.