“We are a business-led organisation, and our knowledge of business enables us to effectively lead the economic development of the region, bringing together public and private partners to deliver the positive results set out in this report today.
Despite being the lowest-funded regional development agency in England the report says EEDA has evolved to tackle the challenges faced by the East of England. Richard continued: “The evidence is that we are having a positive impact on the economy, despite our relatively small budget, bringing a significant amount of wealth for the region compared to what we invest.
The report concludes our targeted programme of investment has borne fruit and will continue to do so. “The report is a clear testament to the commitment and hard work of all partners working together to address the challenges the East of England economy faces.” The evidence shows significant achievements considering EEDA’s relatively modest resources. For example, between 2003-07 EEDA remediated 170 hectares of derelict land and buildings, representing 20 per cent of the total change in the region as a whole.
Also published today is a national report which shows that regional development agencies (RDAs) are collectively delivering value for money and the economic benefits significantly outweigh RDA spend. This report was commissioned by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) from PwC. EEDA commissioned PA and SQW to provide a substantial proportion of the evidence for the national report, but also asked them to produce an impact report to identify and, where possible, quantify, EEDA’s contribution to the strategic development of the region over the same period. The PA and SQW report combines qualitative and quantitative evidence to generate a wider understanding of how EEDA has improved the economy of the region.
Richard added: “Complementing the positive findings in the national report, the independent report we commissioned from PA and SQW looks deeper into the same evidence base as the national report and sheds light on the nature of EEDA’s influencing and strategic role. The case studies really do tell the story of how we can add huge value to projects. “This evidence will help EEDA to make better investment decisions and in the future an ongoing programme of evaluation will help direct funding where it will have the most benefit for the businesses and communities in the region.”