Across the EU, place-based industrial policy (and smart specialisation in particular) has captured the attention of national governments. This is one of the largest socio-economic experiments in the EU’s history and reflections on its implementation are necessary for our learning. This paper offers some considerations on how English regions are trying to develop new place-based local industrial strategies (LIS); a requirement of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper (2017). Interviews with senior actors from across several English Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs), reveal that while the new emphasis upon ‘place’ is welcome, the ability of LEPs to design a LIS which can deliver more balanced and sustained regional growth is often constrained by institutional capacity, weak/fragmented financial streams and fragmented relationships with central government.
- Local Economic Partnerships
- Place-based industrial strategy