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ICE’s submission to the BIS Select Committee ‘Powerhouses and Engines’ inquiry

ICE has submitted its response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee inquiry into whether the Government’s English devolution agenda can deliver their intended economic growth.

The BIS Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government's Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine initiatives to examine if these models for devolved decision-making and co-operation are delivering on areas such as skills, innovation and business engagement.

From our extensive work in this area including the National Needs Assessment and forthcoming (June 2016) State of the Nation: Devolution report, ICE considers that to maximise the opportunities presented by devolution there is a need to clearly define the roles and desired outcomes of English devolution.

ICE's response outlines how the devolution agenda presents opportunities for at-scale realising of efficiency savings when powers are transferred upwards from local authorities. However, the delegation downward from central government is unlikely to result in fully realised benefits unless they are matched by greater control over regional infrastructure financing and strategies.

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