MJ Regen: How to grow when the cash runs out

With the current state of council finances, we need to look again at the role of local authorities in economic development, focusing on convening and collaborating rather than delivering growth, says Dr Simon Kaye.

Two years ago, I and my colleagues collaborated with Birmingham City Council on a project to explore the regeneration of East Birmingham. We described a combination of local authority collaboration, strategic investment, and convening with the private, third and community sectors when undertaking planning – perhaps making use of a briefly-fashionable Investment Zone – as a potential form for the future of ‘levelling up'.

Such plans, we must assume, will now be untenable for the foreseeable future. Birmingham City Council, a vast local authority with an economic powerhouse of a city within its jurisdiction, is bankrupt and its grand plans for regeneration and deep investment must take a very different form if they are to survive.

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