England & Wales Economy and regeneration

LGiU Seminar: Devolution and Local Growth: Beyond Growth deals



Over 2014-15 a, series of Devolution Deals were agreed between the government and groups of local authorities, with one (Cornwall) being agreed with a single unitary authority. The North Midlands draft devolution deal will be the first two-tier local government areas. Growth deals have also been agreed with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

This seminar takes stock of progress in devolution, with a particular emphasis on new powers or resources to stimulate local growth. But it also offers an opportunity to look beyond the current stage of institutional reshaping to consider what more could be achieved with fully empowered local leadership, and the implications for devolution for areas and local government structures not included in the high-profile ‘City Deal’ agreements.

The morning session, introduced by David Marlowe, will be an opportunity to assess progress and share experiences.

All of the afternoon session will be led by Professor Robin Hambleton (author of Leading the Inclusive City) who will draw on international examples of inspired local leadership to illustrate what more could be achieved, and identify the risks and constraints in further progress.




9:30: Registration and refreshments

09:55: Welcome: Andrew Jones, LEPU, London South Bank University

10:00: Progress in local devolution: The picture so far: David Marlow, Third Life Economics

11:00: Governance, devolution, and investment in Britain’s smaller cities and counties: Zach Wilcox, City Economics, Arup

12:00: Making devolution work: Andrew Walker, LGiU

13:00: Lunch

14:00: Leading the inclusive city: International experience: Professor Robin Hambelton , University of the West of England

  • Innovation on cities: what, why, and how?
  • How is local leadership for the common good being exercised?
  • What lessons can our local authorities draw lessons from innovative practice abroad?

16:00: Close


This programme is correct at time of publication, but programme content may be altered without notice to reflect speaker changes which are beyond our control.


This seminar forms part of the LGiU’s policy themes on Localism and Devolution – click here for more details



  Robin Hambleton Robin Hambleton is Professor of City Leadership at the University of the West of England, Bristol and Director of Urban Answers, a company he founded in 2007: www.urbananswers.co.uk In 2015 Policy Press published his new book: ‘Leading the Inclusive City. Place-based innovation for a bounded planet’. This international, comparative book shows how civic leaders are making a major difference in cities across the world. Robin has worked in local government in the UK, been an Adviser to UK local government ministers, an Adviser to Select Committees of the UK House of Parliament, and has written national guidance documents for councils in England, Wales and Scotland. He was the founding President of the European Urban Research Association (EURA) – an international association created in 1997 to enhance research-based exchange relating to city trends and developments. From 2002-07 he was Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. ​ David Marlow David is a development economist, an experienced Chief Executive and Chair of major public bodies - including a UK Regional Development Agency and a large metropolitan council. In a 25 year career as a senior public servant, he worked in the UK, EU and internationally (including extended periods in Central America, Caribbean, and Southern Africa). Since 2008 he has owned and operated Third Life Economics as a research, advisory and consultancy company specialising in supporting strategic economic leadership of place. During this period, David has become one of the leading advisors and commentators on England approaches to local economic growth and devolution - working widely on city and devolution 'deals', Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) strategic economic plans, European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) programmes, and industrial strategies. David has written a number of policy briefings for LGIU on devolution and local growth. He is currently assisting both specific local authorities, LEP-level devolution propositions, and  some of the new pan-regional supported by government to navigate this fast-moving  landscape. Andrew Jones Andrew Jones has over 25 years’ experience in economic development in various posts in central government, Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs), commercial consultancies, think tanks, and academia. Over the past decade, he has combined regular employment with a mix of consultancy, teaching, research, and editorial activities He has conducted and led numerous research and evaluation studies, on topics ranging across local labour market analyses, urban regeneration, recycling, urban governance, neighbourhoods, and HE-employer engagement. He has edited the journal Local Economy since 2004, which expanded publication from four issues a year to eight in 2009. Founded in 1986, and currently published by Sage, Local Economy covers a wide range of issues influencing local development, including broad social and economic processes and policies originating at national and international levels. In addition, he currently teaches economics at London South Bank University. Andrew Walker Andrew joined the LGiU in 2013 as a Policy Researcher. He previously worked with Shared Assets, a social enterprise set up to support community-based environmental management, and Research Republic, a public policy consultancy. He was also an intern with the Criminal Justice Alliance and the Prison Reform Trust, where he carried out research on local justice and effective community sentencing. He studied politics at the University of Leeds and has an MA in the History of Political Thought from Queen Mary, University of London. Zach Wilcox Zach is an economist from Arup's City Economics team, leading projects on economic development, regeneration and urban policy. He has over seven years of experience as an economist and over 4 years working for Centre for Cities, a London-based think tank, researching local government funding and finance policy and city-region governance. He has worked with local councils, LEPs, government departments and private companies to provide research and advice for economic development strategies, programmes and policies. Zach's recommendations have helped shape policies in city councils and in Whitehall around business rates, combined authorities and integrated infrastructure investment.  
Who should attend?
This seminar is relevant for Leaders, elected members, senior management and officers  involved in devolved matters for their local authority.