Inclusive Growth and City Deals briefing

David Waite, Alan McGregor and Des McNulty

How will City Deal-making and decentralisation in Scotland affect the focus on inclusive growth?

Inclusive growth is emerging as a key policy focus, particularly in Scotland, yet it’s unclear how the decentralisation agenda – and city-region deal-making in particular – will complement or work against such objectives.

  • Technical issues arise in defining and choosing what indicators should be used to appraise inclusive growth, and whether and how they can be applied in the monitoring and evaluation of City Deals where future funding is at stake.
  • Political issues concern the potentially competing viewpoints of the UK Government and the devolved administrations. The latter propose policy agendas that envisage growth in broad terms (beyond aggregate jobs and GVA).
  • It is useful to distinguish between the impacts of particular deals themselves and the new ways of working at a broad city-region level that deal-making encourages.
  • Given the commitments made by the Scottish and Welsh Government to existing and new City Deals, there could be an opportunity to better factor in inclusion and wellbeing priorities (both in process and outcome terms).
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