Professional services firm PwC has launched a UK-wide initiative to advise and support organisations and authorities on devolution and regional economic growth.
Led by Stephanie Hyde, head of regions on PwC’s executive board, the Devo Delivery Network has more than 350 local and central government experts and specialist advisers. All spread across PwC’s 31 UK regional offices, including Jonathan House, former CEO of Cardiff Council and now PwC’s local government leader in the North.
Ian Morrison, PwC’s Yorkshire & North East regional leader, said: “Over the past five years, we’ve seen devolution from central government to local regions rise up the political agenda, with the North leading the way.
“Over the next five, devolution will begin to drive the UK growth agenda.
“But the very nature of devolution is that there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint.
“Regional settlements are determined by a combination of local need, the strength of the case and Westminster’s confidence in the ability of local politicians, citizens and business to deliver.
“The recent ONS figures indicate that rebalancing the UK regional economies remains challenging and we’ve launched the Devo Delivery Network to encourage debate, collaboration and engagement and to support and showcase best practice in the development and delivery of devolution deals.”
Data from the ONS indicates that London is demonstrating the fastest recovery.
Regional cities including Newcastle, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham have also seen improved GVA growth, but the prosperity gap between London and the regions remains.
Mr House said: “Negotiating a devolution settlement is just the beginning.
“Delivering successful devolution is a very different challenge that demands very different skills.”