The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth are looking for 10 – 12 places who are interested in working with us to maximise the economic impact of their Towns Fund projects.
As towns head into further development of your projects and business cases, What Works Growth is providing a special offer to places who would like additional, intensive support in using evidence and evaluation of economic impact. This is above the Towns Fund Delivery Partner offer and the associated working group, and is a more detailed means of engagement and development for towns.
What Works Growth (as an External Partner to the TFDP) will work with these places individually and as a group to apply our evidence-based guidance about how to increase employment, wages, and productivity through Towns Fund investments. We will also provide advice and guidance about how to evaluate these investments using the most robust techniques, and based upon the requirements of the programme.
The project will run from April to September this year. First our team will familiarise ourselves with each place’s local economy as well as the TIPs that you have submitted. Then we’ll schedule a conversation with each place (online rather than in person, sadly) to discuss what kind of information and analysis would be most helpful.
The meat of the work will be in 3 – 4 online roundtables with all of the participants, where we will present from our resources and case studies on evidence and evaluation and answer questions. Our experience suggests that the most useful element of these roundtables will be places talking to each other about common challenges.
Our plan is to minimise the amount of preparation that the places have to do outside of meetings, while ensuring that time together is as interactive and productive as video conferencing will allow.
At the end we hope all of the participants will have a clearer picture of the evidence base and evaluation as it applies to their projects, and make the most of the opportunities the Towns Fund offers.
We will ask each participant to write a blog on a topic of their choice coming out of the work, to collect a record of the project and publish on our website and the Towns Fund website. We will also produce a report of our work to help other places going through the process, as well as development of future funding programmes.