The Regional Economic Intelligence Unit (REIU) was established to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the use of key intelligence resources (such as the Regional Econometric Model) and to provide specialist economic support (in areas such as Green Book economic appraisal) across Leeds City Council. The unit supports a wide network of public sector partners and aims to improve the co-ordination of economic research across the region.
The objectives of the unit are to:
- support the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across Yorkshire and Humber;
- work closely with local authorities in analysing, monitoring and evaluating their local economic areas;
- work with the public and private sectors in the economic appraisal of potential investment projects; and
- provide bespoke economic advice and evidence.
This support translates into a number of key activities and products including:
- economic briefings;
- economic forecasting;
- economic project appraisal;
- business intelligence;
- skills and labour market intelligence;
- impact assessments;
- specific project work; and
- commissioned research.
Since locating at Leeds City Council the small team has offered a number of services and bespoke economic assessments to a number of public sector partners and private firms. A snap shot of recent and current projects is listed below.
Economic Case for Carbon Capture and Storage
The REIU was heavily involved in quantifying the economic benefits of a £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Commercialisation Programme, where the figures and recommendations made played a critical role in the decision making process being carried out by Central Government upon the project. Working closely with CO2 Sense the economic case of the project was quantified. Based on a pipeline transporting captured CO2 from the Yorkshire and Humber area to the North Sea, the project involved quantifying the potential benefits of preventing the gases being emitted to the atmosphere. The report revealed that a direct and indirect impact of the project could be 6000 jobs and £1.3billion to the Yorkshire economy.
Leeds City Region Foreign Direct Investment
During March 2013 the unit produced a detailed report advising Leeds City Region (LCR) on sectoral FDI trends at a local level and the alignment of these trends to LCR’s priority sectors. The report also covered recommendations to LCR detailing the alignment and coverage of key LCR sectors in the context of UK Trade and Investment, allowing LCR to tailor their priority sectors and strategy strategically to the local investment market.
Single Appraisal Framework
Now based at Leeds City Council the unit has a long term service level agreement with the Leeds City Region, Local Enterprise Partnership. A significant part of this agreement involves the economic appraisal of both the Regional Growth Fund and Revolving Investment Fund applications (between £100K - £1mn) on behalf of LCR. This has been a long term agreement primarily due to the high level of detail and accuracy of outputs produced by the Regional Econometric Model (REM) and the regional awareness of the REM. A high level of local government and LEP funding has been designated on the outputs and reports produced by the unit over the two year period that appraisals have been carried out.
Continuing on from the service level agreement and the high quality of appraisals carried out, the unit is managing the development of a Single Appraisal Framework for LCR. This will be an important element of decision-making support, assisting by providing an evidence-based tool that enables robust decision-making by a consistent, recognised and HMT green book-compliant approach to appraisal.
The UK economy showing signs of recovery despite the mix of economic indicator figures. Growing house prices and continued falls in unemployment and job seekers claimants have been countered by a very varied monthly trade deficit and Augusts foreseen 0.9% fall in retail sales.
The Yorkshire economy also shows a varied pattern within its figures in August. Economic activity remains on a 163 month high with new orders and work backlogs also riding a positive wave. Unemployment is also continuing to improve, but remains approximately 1.2% higher than the UK average.
Find out more about the Global, UK and Yorkshire & Humber economy in our Monthly Economic Brief in the Documents section.
You can contact us using the email link on this page, or by emailing Patrick Bowes (Unit Manager) on firstname.lastname@example.org.