renewal, regions and regeneration minister Richard Caborn said.
Businessmen and women are already contributing crucial local know-how
as board members on the business-led Regional Development Agencies
regional stakeholders, to set up regional chambers, which will liaise
with the RDAs to develop their economic strategies.
Mr Caborn outlined the functions of the new English RDAs, which
follow the success of the development agencies already established in
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The minister also emphasised
the government's inclusive approach to economic development.
'Each region has its own needs and challenges. And no-one knows this
better than the region's stakeholders - small businesses, TECs,
academia, local authorities and the voluntary sector. We want all of
these groups to work in partnership with the RDAs, to generate
economic growth and build a dynamic future for their region.'
Mr Caborn's full speech to the British Chamber of Commerce conference is available on request from LGCnet. Tel 0171 833 7324/5.
Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), set up on 1 April 1999, are new
business-led bodies in each of the regions of England. They are lead
bodies at the regional level for co-ordinating inward investment,
raising people's skills, improving the competitiveness of business,
and regeneration activity, all against a backdrop of sustainable
development. They have an important role in advising government and
are each presently developing a strategy for their region, covering
their whole range of responsibilities.
Regional chambers are bodies that include councillors from the local
authorities in the region and representatives of the various sectors
with a stake in the region's economic, social and environmental
well-being. Regional chambers are being set up in all eight English
regions (outside of London). Three, in the North West, East Midlands
and West Midlands, have already been designated, and the secretary of
state is currently considering other applications for designation.