Town Deal Support – The Development of Economic Strategies and Business Cases

Hardisty Jones Associates (HJA) supports public sector policy makers in understanding how to deliver on their economic development agenda. Our work ranges from the development of economic strategies for a local area, to producing detailed business cases aimed at winning public investment that can deliver supporting infrastructure. Brief summaries of recent projects are included below. 

Insight Author

Joshua Harding-Jones

Senior Consultant

Future High Streets Fund Bid 

HJA is working with a local authority helping them to develop and refine their full bid submission in response to the further guidance issued by, and following meetings with, MHCLG.  

Our team is currently modelling detailed cost and land value uplift estimates, including developing a methodology for calculating the land value uplift generated by investments into public realm projects.  

This project gives us experience of the current Government’s approach to the competitive award of funds for town-based regeneration. 

Package of Actions for Towns Development 

HJA is working with the Isle of Wight Council to prepare a coherent and fundable package of actions to capitalise on the economic opportunities in the towns of Cowes, East Cowes and Newport. 

Our work is seeking to identify opportunities in these towns and the barriers and market failures that are inhibiting the implementation of these opportunities. The output of the first phase of our work will be to provide clarity on key asks, and our second phase of work will involve preparing a funding application linked to these. 

This has given us experience in developing projects to support local economic development across multiple towns. 

Local Authority Growth Plan 

HJA assisted in developing the first Growth Plan for the districts of Christchurch and East Dorset, and were subsequently commissioned to update elements of the Plan. 

We reviewed the context for the updated Plan, and progress against previous targets. We then updated the Plan with new priority areas and detailed policies that would be needed to support them. 

This is an example of work that has given us experience of creating an evidence-based local economic plan, and then reviewing and refining it as circumstances changed. 

Town Growth Prospectus 

In close collaboration with the District and County councils we developed and refined a vision for Taunton based on the distinctive opportunities of the town. We also set out clear growth targets for the town and detailed the interventions necessary to achieve these goals, taking into account the wider policy context. 

This has given us experience of identifying town-level opportunities in order to shape decisions round interventions. 

LEP-wide Towns Analysis 

We started our work for the Enterprise M3 LEP by identifying the functional economic market areas in the region using Geographical Information Systems mapping techniques. We then developed a typology of towns and analysed their performance. This allowed us to understand the economic performance of each town, and how it could contribute to the emerging Local Industrial Strategy. 

This has given us experience of gathering and analysing data on a large number of towns, and developing a typology of towns within a local area. 

Business District Regeneration 

We developed a logic chain and calculated the economic impact of investment in public realm and infrastructure improvements in the Lansdowne business district of Bournemouth. This provided the Council with the basis of a full Green Book compliant business case which secured funding for the project. 

This has given us experience in building a business case for investment in a suite of intervention options, including commercial floorspace, transport infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and public realm.