Agenda item


The Committee was reminded that the Department for the Economy (DfE) had launched its 10X Economic Vision in 2021. This was the Department’s plan to create a pathway to transform the economy in a way that is inclusive, innovative and sustainable.


Since its publication, the Department had been working to consider how the practical implementation of overarching objectives set out in the 10X Economic Vision was to be achieved. It had issued a number of related documents such as the Skills Strategy (Skills for a 10X Economy) and had been working on appropriate metrics to track progress. While the budget situation in all departments was currently unclear, it was proposed that DfE investment would be re-profiled to align with the 10X ambition – and this would mean that all delivery supported by the Department would be directed towards activity that could support the 10X ambition.


The Director of Economic Development advised that one of the key considerations for the strategy was the issue of “place”. He explained that, to consider how this should be reflected in departmental investment, the DfE had recently launched a call for evidence relating to sub-regional economic approaches – working title “Place 10X”.


The call for evidence involved the following six prescribed questions:


1.      What is the problem we are trying to solve?

2.      What geographic areas should Place 10X cover?

3.      What is expected of delivery partners?

4.      What interventions could or already occur?

5.      What does success look like?

6.      Is the Department’s view of place and use of Place 10X correct?


He highlighted that the issue of place-based approaches to economic development and investment had been a recurring theme in recent policy documents.


In 2022, the 11 councils had commissioned a piece of research on “A place-based approach to supporting economic development in Northern Ireland”. The high-level findings of this work were:


·        Place-based approaches were closely aligned with the devolution debate. However, in practice, they could range from stronger partnership working on basis of agreed plans (for example - community planning model) to additional devolution of responsibilities (regeneration of particular interest in this field);


·        The need for all regional approaches to identify sub-regional variations – but with the ability to flex depending on the issue and in line with local geographies/working areas;


·        Opportunity to use Shared Prosperity funding to re-position role of councils in developing and delivering solutions that reflected local needs (within an overall framework); and


·        City and Growth Deals demonstrate value of aggregating demand – are the current structures the right ones on an ongoing basis and for all economic matters?


A summary of the six questions posed and draft responses to each of these had been collated and were attached in Appendix 1.


The Director of Economic Development pointed out that the Committee should note that this was a ‘call for evidence’ rather than a fully-developed approach to place-based economic development – this would follow once responses to this consultation were analysed.


The Committee noted the Place 10X call for evidence and agreed to the draft response to the call, as set out in Appendix 1.


Supporting documents: