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Agencies' pledge to build prosperous places

Two of the key agencies charged with improving the economic prosperity of English regions and the places where people live have signed up to work closely together, focusing on specific areas of activity.

In a statement of joint working, the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have pledged to develop:

Regional Governance suitable to each region’s context. The governance arrangements would fully recognise the RDA Board and Leaders’ Boards joint responsibility to develop the Regional Strategies and the investment accountabilities of both RDA and HCA Accounting Officers and, in London, the powers of the Mayor in relation to setting the LDA’s investment strategy alongside his spatial, housing, transport and environmental policies. 
These discussions should include the need to review the role of current regional housing boards and the need to reflect a broader housing and regeneration role within the context of the Sub-National Review (SNR). 
the Regional Strategy including the regional vision, aims and objectives and by supporting the development of the evidence and analysis to inform the strategic options. These strategies will outline each region’s long term vision and provide the key context within which to prioritise the programmes and investments of HCA, RDAs, local authorities and other partners 

Regional Investment Planning methodologies and mechanisms to prioritise public investment within each region.  These will need to retain flexibility to respond to place based needs and is informed by investment planning within places. This would include: 

  • Regional Strategy Delivery Plans
  • Regional Funding Allocations process
  • Each Agencies Corporate Planning processes 

Investment Planning with places to ensure appropriate mechanisms of investment planning which reflect sub-regional and local arrangements. This will be done by building on current arrangements within each region and within the context of SNR. This would include both developing appropriate mechanisms for place-based ‘single conversations’ to jointly develop and agree Local Investment Programmes and the detailed Programme Management Processes. In London these would be approved by the Mayor. 
Capacity and Capability – work together to ensure that the right capacity and capability is in place at the right spatial level to develop and deliver strategically driven programmes of intervention to deliver Regional Strategy outcomes.

Regional Best Practice & Learning Networks – work together to outline regional level co-operation on regional level arrangements for Best Practice and Learning Networks. 
National Level arrangements – continue to have regular dialogue at National level between the RDAs and HCA.

The commitment by the RDAs and the HCA means that ways of prioritising public spending on housing and regeneration will be agreed in each region and, as part of this, the role of regional housing boards will be reviewed.

Margaret Fay, is chairman of One North East and HCA national board member. Speaking on behalf of the English RDAs, she said: “The need for public agencies to work together for the benefit of their regions and to improve the prospects for both people and businesses has never been greater.

“Housing, transport, economic development and social and environmental policies have to be agreed and tackled collectively by all agencies in order to respond to the current economic challenges and also plan for the future.

“The statement of joint working provides a framework within which each RDA and each regional office of the HCA can collaborate for the benefit of communities across England.”

Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, explained: “Working effectively with the RDAs will be essential to our delivery of successful places, especially through the Single Conversation, which aims to help local authorities create better served, more cohesive communities. Helping to achieve local ambitions that link with national policy is an important role for us and this statement allows us to formalise the relationship we have established with the RDAs, while giving us all a focus for the future.”

The statement of joint working will be formalised tomorrow at a meeting of the RDA Chairmen and the Chairman of the HCA, Robert Napier.

To view the full statement of joint working between the Regional Development Agencies and the Homes and Communities Agency either visit the RDA National Secretariat website or Governance & operation - Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

For further information please contact Abi Kelly at One North East on 0191 229 6308 / abigail.kelly@onenortheast.co.uk or Gemma Bird at the Homes and Communities Agency on 020 7881 1054 / gemma.thompson@hca.gsx.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

The Regional Development Agencies are helping to create prosperity across England. They are strategic leaders, bringing together views of the people who live and work in each region, and combining these with a unique set of business and economic insights to make the most of the opportunities globalisation brings.
To do this, they are strengthening and growing regional economies, guided by the principles of sustainability to ensure a healthy long term future for everyone. Each RDA is working with partners to build on their region’s natural assets, develop the knowledge-based economy, revitalise places and meet the needs of regional businesses.

The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England.  Its role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment. Operational since 1 December 2008, the HCA brings together English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.

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