AMION advising BEIS on Appraisal Practices in Local Growth

AMION Consulting have been asked by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to advise on the issues and approaches associated with the appraisal of local growth interventions.

What is local growth?

A key initial issue is the definition of local growth, which is taken to mean any intervention (or often a package or programme of interventions) designed specifically to improve local performance, in particular, economic growth.

Consequently, the type of interventions involved can be very wide ranging and include: business growth and sector development (including business support, financial assistance, inward investment and trade, and sector development); research and development and innovation; skills and education; physical development; regeneration; culture and tourism; transport and other infrastructure; housing; place making; and community development, health and crime. These interventions cut across several central government departmental responsibilities, which raises issues about how to integrate the various appraisal approaches.

Devolved responsibilities

A further issue is the implication of increased devolved responsibility to local areas. Thus, for example, Combined Authorities are charged with promoting local growth within their specific area with a focus often on Gross Value Added (GVA) and jobs. This raises several issues about the treatment of such impacts in national guidance and the focus of local appraisals, in particular DCLG’s preferred land value uplift approach.

AMION’s role

An initial task was to review the existing appraisal guidance; highlighting key texts, sponsoring department and their thematic area. This was then supplanted with a study of standard adjustment methods. That is, within these appraisal guides there are recognised tools that an appraiser has at their disposal to calibrate or adjust the core appraisal statistics. These tools are in addition to the main underlying appraisal practices such as options analysis used in local growth appraisals. Finally, we looked at multi-disciplinary approaches. It is often the case that projects being appraised cut across several different thematic areas.

Want to know more?

Speak to Graham Russell, who heads up the Economics Team at AMION on 0151 227 5563 or grahamrussell@amion.co.uk