Dynamic partnership for rewiring regional economies moves up a gear
Throughout 2023 CTP has been working with partners laying the foundations for a radical long-term change programme in three of England’s major Combined Authority areas. Reclaiming Our Regional Economies (RORE) is a five year partnership to help rewire local and regional economies to deliver more equitable and sustainable outcomes and better lives for millions of people. Read more about the programme below and CTP’s role in delivering this change.
At CTP we feel very lucky we get to work with so many visionary and determined people tackling the system head on.
But our work across the UK also gives us a bird’s-eye view of how structurally spiralling poverty, growing inequality and rapidly accelerating climate breakdown are being intensified by the systemic defunding of public services. English devolution, which promised to give power back to people, has also been limited by an over-centralised approach, resulting in a patchwork of different powers and resources. As a result, our regions are now in danger of replicating many of the flaws of the national economic approach which has contributed to the multiple crises we face.
There are huge numbers of people working within and alongside these systems to try to fundamentally reorganise how resources are spent and how power is distributed. But we are acutely aware that it is very difficult to rewire these systems if short, time limited, one-off interventions are the only available resource.
That’s why CTP has been so delighted in the past year to join with our colleagues in the New Economics Foundation (NEF), Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Co-operativesUK, to work in depth and at scale over a five year timeframe in three regions, through the Reclaiming Our Regional Economies (RORE) programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the Friends Provident Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust.
Collectively, our four organisations have decades of experience, and tried and tested methods designed to deliver economic inclusion for places across the UK. With RORE we are working together to go further, to deliver a plan for long-term systemic change.
In 2023, we had the enormous privilege of building foundational partnerships and relationships with many visionary partners within the Combined Authority teams, local government, community organisations and Anchor Institutions in three UK regions – the West Midlands, South Yorkshire and the North East.
Each of the programme’s three pilot regions is exploring a different pathway to test and demonstrate the many routes to delivering not just better regional economies, but also wider systemic shifts.
As a partnership, we will be supporting communities and political and institutional leaders to work together to test ideas for reforming their regional economies, so that they deliver good lives now and for generations to come. Reforming economic decision-making and delivery from the ground up requires not simply new ways for citizens to channel their voices and visions into decision-making systems, but also enables those systems to receive and respond to this input – often requiring fundamental shifts in how priorities are set, how trade-offs are managed and what kinds of outcomes are ultimately invested in.
We are delighted to bring our expertise on wellbeing economy frameworks to this effort, as well as our know-how on rewiring strategies around wellbeing, sustainability and equality outcomes in concrete, practical, robust and measurable ways.
We are already learning so much from beginning to weave our offer and experience with the wealth of knowledge and skills within our three partner organisations, and from the emerging practice and creativity of our regional partners.
‘The partnership will support communities and leaders to test ideas for reforming their regional economies to deliver good lives now and for generations to come’
Our main focus within the wider partnership in recent months has included:
- Working with the combined authority and its partners in the North East, to embed its pioneering previous work on a regional wellbeing framework into its wider approach to inclusive economies and all other policy areas, during a pivotal period in which the region is expanding from three to seven local authorities.
- Supporting South Yorkshire with its Net Zero ambitions, starting with a focus on making the most of its large scale tree planting plans, as an opportunity to grow community power and connect ambitions around health, economy, skills, living standards together with wider environmental goals.
- Working with the Inclusive Economies Partnership in West Midlands to lock its vision of inclusive growth into the structure of how it measures and reports on progress to regional stakeholders and also to national government.
- Working with our colleagues at NEF to bring together a wide range of people in the North East with different experiences, and organisations with different mandates, to explore a new approach to transport systems and unpack how this area of policy underpins so many of the answers to economic inequality, green transition and living standards.
- Building new plans in the West Midlands to bring together public health sector and economic and local government leaders to identify practical opportunities for integrating and reimagining these two, often siloed, policy areas at regional level.
This is just a small taster of the huge and exciting range of work the partnership is already tackling while we’ve been setting up the systems, partnership and plans for this dynamic programme of work in the past year.
We are hugely excited about the opportunity for new learning that the programme generates, as well as the ability to plug our approach into a much bigger ‘machine’ together with three of our most valued and aligned sector partners.
Look out for the many policy and practice insights that will be emerging over 2024 and beyond.
Liz Zeidler, CEO and Rachel Laurence, Deputy CEO
Are you working in a local or combined authority and would like to work with CTP and its partners? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org