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The Economic Development Role of English RDAs: The Need for Greater Discretionary Power


  • C. Fuller
  • R. J. Bennett
  • M. Ramsden


In the late 1990s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) were introduced into the English economic development policy and partnership landscape. Cited as a way in which to improve regional competitiveness and innovation, their task is to build institutional capacity by creating a strategic context for sub-regional organizations and fostering partnerships. This article examines developing inter-institutional relations between RDAs, sub-regional organizations and central government departments in the field of learning and skills, business support and inward investment. It suggests that a lack of discretionary power and resources has undermined RDA ability to pursue their strategic aims and influence other organizations. In response, RDAs have concentrated on particular activities and developed relations with certain partners.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Fuller & R. J. Bennett & M. Ramsden, 2002. "The Economic Development Role of English RDAs: The Need for Greater Discretionary Power," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 421-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:4:p:421-428
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400220131188

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darren Webb & Clive Collis, 2000. "Regional Development Agencies and the 'New Regionalism' in England," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 857-864.
    2. A Harding & S Wilks-Heeg & M Hutchins, 1999. "Regional Development Agencies and English Regionalisation: The Question of Accountability," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 17(6), pages 669-683, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Bailey & Nigel Driffield, 2007. "Industrial Policy, FDI and Employment: Still ‘Missing a Strategy’," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 189-211, December.
    2. Kevin Cox & Alan Townsend, 2005. "Institutions and mediating inward investment in England and the USA," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 541-553.
    3. David Bailey & Stewart MacNeill, 2008. "The Rover Task Force: A case study in proactive and reactive policy intervention?," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 109-124, November.


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