Home > Website archive > News and media > News archives > 2013 > 07 > New 'What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth' announced

New 'What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth' announced

Page Contents >

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Centre for Cities and Arup have been chosen to take forward the a new independent research centre, the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth.

The Centre, which is funded by the ESRC, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, aims to significantly improve the use of evidence in the design and delivery of policies for local economic growth and employment. It will be led by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and will be directed by Professor Henry Overman, the current director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre at LSE.  

city skylineBy working to better understand which approaches have successfully delivered local economic growh, the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth will provide policymakers with the evidence and insights they need to drive growth in the future. The Centre will be launched in late September, when a more detailed overview of the programme of work going forward will be available.

Responding to the announcement by ESRC today, Professor Henry Overman, director of the new What Works Centre for Local Growth, said:

"The three partners – the London School of Economics, Centre for Cities and Arup – are looking forward to working together to deliver an ambitious and exciting programme of work that will add significantly to the pool of evidence and policy expertise that policy makers can draw upon to deliver economic growth at the local level. It is not news that the Government faces increasing economic pressures, at both national and local levels. If we are to pursue policies that are effective, we must not only ensure that they are built on robust and solid evidence but that they are effectively reviewed and that the findings are made accessible to policy makers.  The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth offers a unique opportunity to shine a light on how effective policy making at the local level can make a real difference to the economic outlook of places, and will provide central and local Government with a deeper understanding as to which approaches to stimulating local economic growth can have the biggest impact."

Alexandra Jones Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities said:

“Understanding and improving local economies is at the heart of the Centre for Cities’ purpose and so we are delighted to be working with the London School of Economics and Arup on this important programme. The complementary strengths of the different partners will help to ensure that the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth makes a significant contribution, not only by helping places understand which policies make most difference to local economic growth but also by offering practical solutions to national and local partners.”

Jerome Frost OBE, Director and UKMEA Planning Practice leader, Arup, said:

“There is no more important a time to be developing a good understanding of What Works in driving local economic growth. In order to make informed investments, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities must be able to draw on clear and concise evidence to underpin their recommendations.  Arup’s team of economic planning consultants are dedicated to delivering economic growth and regeneration and so we are delighted to have the opportunity to evaluate and help shape that evidence base.”


For further information or to request an interview with Professor Henry Overman please contact Rachel Morrisroe, Senior External Affairs Manager at Centre for Cities on 0207 803 4316 / 07748 183 026 / r.morrisroe@centreforcities.org

LSE press office contact: Peter Wilkinson pressoffice@lse.ac.uk or 07515 190722.


The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth will officially open on 1st September 2013 and will run for 36 months. The primary customers for the outputs of the centre will be decision makers and practitioners working in, and with, local economic partnerships, cities.

posted 12 July 2013 (updated 15 July 2013)