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Policy challenge: Economic recovery from Covid-19

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Economic recovery from Covid-19

While a lot of what is going on in relation to the pandemic and lockdown can seem unprecedented, there is evidence out there that can help inform decisions about how to respond. We have launched these resources to help places make more informed decisions about policies to support economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

At a time when many are understandably overwhelmed by the crisis, we hope that these resources will help local authorities and LEPs focus on those interventions which will make the most impact.

A few key messages are already emerging from the work we have done so far – you can read much more detail by clicking on the resources at the end of this page:

  • Focus on areas where local knowledge is essential and capacity exists to develop policy quickly. For example, local areas can potentially play an important role in tackling youth unemployment, supporting business-led employment training, thinking about town centre revival, identifying shovel-ready infrastructure, and helping manage public transport and congestion.
  • Seek to inform the national debate when that isn’t the case. Local areas are already helping identify those falling through the gaps of the current support scheme. More of this will be needed at the next stage as will input on how policy develops. For example, some places are already making the case that the next phase of business support should involve an equity dimension. Such a scheme is unlikely to work at the local level, but this shouldn’t stop local government from contributing to the development of a national scheme.
  • Look for opportunities to align the short term response with longer term policy objectives. For example, can Local Industrial Strategies, net-zero and other objectives help inform the set-up of stimulus funds? Is it possible to perpetuate short terms shifts in transport towards more walking and cycling? The extent of the crisis and the risk of a second spike means that there is a careful path to tread here and areas will need to be realistic about trade-offs where they occur. Good evidence can help understand the options.
  • Good data will help. We have released guidance on what’s available and the pros and cons of different sources. There’s still scope for monitoring and evaluation to play an important role as we pilot innovative approaches. But we will also need to draw on a wider set of evidence and try to extrapolate to the current crisis.

Existing resources we think will be most helpful: