Heseltine Review: ‘A new partnership for growth’

31 Oct 2012 03:42 PM

Lord Heseltine has yesterday set out a comprehensive economic plan to improve the UK’s ability to create wealth. In his independent report Lord Heseltine makes the case for a major rebalancing of responsibilities for economic development between central and local government, and between government and the private sector.

The report, No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth, makes 89 recommendations which aim to inject stability into the economy, create the conditions for growth and maximise the performance of the UK. At the heart of the proposals are measures to unleash the potential of local economies and leaders and enable every part of the UK economy to raise its game.

Lord Heseltine yesterday presented his review to local leaders and businesses with a speech at Birmingham Town Hall.

Commenting on the report Lord Heseltine said:

“Our ability to create wealth has suffered. Each day more and more of the leading economies are enhancing their skills, adding to their strengths and grasping larger shares of the world’s wealth. We need to strain every sinew to get back up there with the world’s best. There have been initiatives and experiments for many decades. But successive governments have failed to set out a comprehensive long-term implementation strategy to turn thought into practice.

“My recommendations do not single out a few headline proposals for areas we need to improve on. What we need is a new partnership between the private and public sectors, between local communities and central government. Only in this way will we get the best use of our limited public funds and leverage in private investment. I have not left the Government with easy decisions. Some may paint my report as a set of criticisms - that is the wrong approach. To invite criticism is a sign of strength. What I have proposed is an opportunity on a grand scale.

“I have looked across the board at how we create wealth, and spoken from my own experience in business and government. What I have outlined today points the way towards prosperity. We will not just need the determination of government, but of every business, every local leader and every individual to deliver this vision.”

Recommendations made by Lord Heseltine include:

· The Government to set out clearly a comprehensive national growth strategy which defines its role and that of local leaders and the private sector in the creation of wealth.

· A National Growth Council, chaired by the Prime Minister.

· Each Whitehall department to commit to play its role in support of the national growth strategy, including how it will work with its key sectors. They will be held to account for this by the National Growth Council.

· Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to develop their own tailored local economic plans. From 2015-16 they would compete for a share of a single national pot to support growth over a five year period. Under the current spending review this would account for £49bn of central public spending on skills, local infrastructure, employment support, housing, business support services and innovation. This would be supplemented by the current approximate £9bn of European common strategic framework funds.

· Government and private sector to work together to create a strong, locally based business support infrastructure. The Chambers of Commerce would have an increased role building a stronger relationship between businesses and LEPs in their area.

· All sectors of industry to have a formal relationship with a government department, building on the examples in the automobile and aerospace industries.

· Regulators to be required to take account of the economic impact of their decisions. This would include a restructuring of the regulatory regime.

· The planning system to be injected with greater urgency.

· Government procurement to be improved by employing an experienced chief procurement officer in every department.

· Departmental Non-Executives to be given an enhanced role in departments while a cross-government management information system should be put in place.

A copy of the report and full list of recommendations can be found at

Lord Heseltine presented his report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Business Secretary Vince Cable. The Government will now consider the recommendations.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Heseltine Review, No Stone Unturned in Pursuit for Growth, can be found here www.bis.gov.uk/heseltine-review. A full list of recommendations can be found in Annex B of the report.
  2. A copy of Lord Heseltine’s speech can be found on the BIS website from this afternoon.
  3. A separate paper outlining a comparison of chamber of commerce models in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and the US has been published alongside the main report. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/n/12-1214-no-stone-unturned-chambers-of-commerce-international-comparisons
  4. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.