Regional development agency

Regional development agency

A regional development agency (RDA) is a non-departmental public body established for the purpose of development, primarily economic, of one of England's Government Office regions. There is one RDA for each of the NUTS level 1 regions of England. Similar activities are carried out in Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government Department of Economy and Transport, in Northern Ireland by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and in Scotland by Scottish Enterprise. On Tuesday 17 July 2007, Local Government Minister John Healey MP announced Government plans to abolish regional assemblies. Functions of regional assemblies are planned to pass to Regional Development Agencies in 2010. [ [ Dan Rogerson MP - New powers for Cornwall 'In sight'] ] [ [ BBC news July 2007 - Regional assemblies will be axed] ]


The RDAs were created following the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998,Office of Public Sector Information - [ Regional Development Agencies Act 1998] ] and have had their scope and powers enhanced in the years since. The statutory objectives of the RDAs are, at present:
# to further economic development and regeneration;
# to promote business efficiency and competitiveness;
# to promote employment;
# to enhance the development and application of skills relevant to employment, and
# to contribute to sustainable development.


The RDAs are funded by five different central government departments, those being:
*Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
*Department for Communities and Local Government
*Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
*Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
*Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The funding from these departments is pooled, and then allocated to the different RDAs. The total funding from this Single Programme (also known as "Single Pot") is as below.

*2004/2005 — £1.847 billion
*2005/2006 — £2.163 billion
*2006/2007 — £2.244 billion
*2007/2008 — £2.297 billion

The RDAs have taken over responsibility from Government Offices for administering European Union regional development funds, but the enlargement of the EU means this is likely to reduce in its significance to the UK.


Eight of the nine RDAs report to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the sole exception being the London Development Agency (LDA), which reports directly to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Each RDA is led by a Chair and a Board of 15 people, appointed by BERR Ministers (except in London, where the Mayor appoints). The RDA Chairs are all business people, while the Boards are made up of representatives of business, local government, trade unions and voluntary organisations.

The day to day running of the RDA is the responsibility of the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board, subject to approval by BERR Ministers (or the London Mayor in the case of the LDA).


The statutory objectives of the RDAs are expanded upon in the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) of each region. The RES is a document created and maintained by the RDA for the whole region, i.e. it is not simply a document to guide the RDA, it is intended to guide the work of other organisations also. Each RDA updates their RES on a regular basis (approximately every three years) by consulting widely with their partners, and stakeholders in the region, including local government, voluntary organisations, private organisations, and other interested groups. The RES must be submitted to the BERR for formal approval.

The RDAs seek to achieve their objectives in a variety of ways. The most obvious of these is by funding projects aimed at addressing them, either directly from the RDA, or indirectly through a funded body. Secondly, they seek to influence other stakeholders in the region to take action themselves. Thirdly, they seek to influence the policies of central government.

To assist in the influencing of central government, the RDAs work together in a number of areas, with different RDAs taking the 'lead' role in varying policy areas. Additionally, the RDAs jointly fund a central secretariat to co-ordinate this activity. [England's Regional Development Agencies - [ What we do] ] Finally, the three northern RDAs (Northwest Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward and One NorthEast) collaborate on The Northern Way.


External links

* [ England's RDAs]
*Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - [ England's Regional Development Agencies: Introduction]

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