Hilary Armstrong today released figures showing the government's
commitment to the English regions, with£4,851m invested in
regeneration since May 1997.
'Our commitment to regenerating the English regions is clear and
unequivocal. We have put£4,851m into regenerating urban and
rural neighbourhoods, their infrastructure and the opportunities for
'Our programmes aim to deliver more sustainable economic growth
across the whole country, and address economic imbalances which
hamper the development of the English regions.
'It is vital that our initiatives complement and collaborate with one
another; that they are seen as part of a national framework for
regeneration, rather than as a piecemeal set of projects. The
effectiveness of regeneration must be measured by real outcomes - not
just tickbox outputs.
'I want to know if individual government initiatives are being
diminished by departmentalism; if regeneration is being held back by
red-tape; or if agencies with responsibility for regeneration are
failing to deliver on the ground.'
Commenting on the new regional development agencies, she said:
'Regional development agencies have a vital role to play in
co-ordinating the response of the public sector in the regions to the
needs of the enterprise economy.
'They are an excellent example of the government's commitment to
joined-up working, providing a single gateway for regional economic
development and regeneration.
'Their creation does not challenge or diminish the role of local
councils in regeneration. There is a vital role for councils in
enabling regeneration to happen at the local level.'
'RDAs represent real devolution of economic decision-making powers
and resources to the English regions. They are a tangible expression
of our commitment to devolution in England. Those of us convinced of
the merits of further devolution to the English regions should make
it our first task to see RDAs succeed.'
Figures for regeneration spending in the English regions are:
North East 228 £m
North West 428
South East 220
South West 122
West Midlands 277
East Midlands 168
Yorkshire and Humberside 294
These figures include Single Regeneration Budget since May 1997
(allocations for rounds 4 and 5, running until 2005) and Capital
Receipts Initiative for 1997-2000.
In addition the following regeneration-related funding has been
committed since 1997:
New Deal for Communities 800 £m
Sure Start 454
Health Action Zones 100
Early Excellence Centres 30
Crime Reduction Programme 250
Excellence in Cities 350
Grand Total £4851m
* Hilary Armstrong's full speech is available from LGCnet. Tel 0171 833 7324/5.