Emergency Budget: Regional Development Agencies to be scrapped and replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships

Regional development agencies (RDAs) will be scrapped, Budget documents have revealed.

The documents, published yesterday, outline how the eight RDAs, which currently employ about 3,400 people, will be “abolished” to make way for new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The government previously announced that the RDAs would have their budgets slashed by £270m this year, in a bid to create £6.2bn of savings.

But the Emergency Budget documents now state: “The government will enable locally-elected leaders, working with business, to lead local economic development. As part of this change, Regional Development Agencies will be abolished through the Public Bodies Bill.”

A White Paper will be published later this summer setting out details of the proposals.

The RDAs aimed to work with local businesses to boost development, employment and skills. The government said the new Enterprise Partnerships will “enable improved co-ordination of public and private investment in transport, housing, skills, regeneration and other areas of economic development.”

The Local Enterprise Partnerships will also be used to create a framework of incentives – including business rate and council tax incentives – to help local authorities to reinvest the benefits of growth back into local communities.

The Budget documents do not indicate how much money will be saved by replacing the RDAs with Local Enterprise Partnerships.

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