Eight Productivity Forums launched to understand regional issues

Eight Regional Productivity Forums (RPFs) have been launched across the UK, as part of the £32 million ESRC-funded Productivity Institute. Each will inform and shape the development and implementation of the Institute’s research agenda and practical business interventions.​

The majority of the Institute’s research activities and outputs will be developed in collaboration, and in some instances through co-production, with business and policy users.​​

The Productivity Institute Research Director Professor Tony Venables said: “Good research requires going beyond the national aggregates, to understand the issues faced by the regions and devolved nations, and the challenges and opportunities that they face.

“This is particularly so as our research seeks to provide policy relevant and practical proposals for raising productivity and economic performance in firms, regions, and for society as a whole. The Regional Productivity Forums are essential in enabling this two way flow of knowledge and ideas, and I’m delighted that they have made such a strong start in their work.”​

​Engagement & Operations Director Nicola Pike said: “Regional disparities are larger in the UK than in most other Western European Countries and it is vital that we understand what the issues and opportunities are from the business and policymaker community within the regions.

“We have now held inaugural meetings for all eight of our Regional Productivity Forums and the insights already provided by our Chairs and 170 members has been invaluable in helping us to understand the different issues and priorities. The RPFs will strengthen ties between business, policymakers and academics at a regional level, help us to amplify the research findings of the Institute and to inform future research development.”​

​One of the first outputs from each RPF will be a ‘Regional Productivity Insights Paper’ to provide a framework for its work. The Chairs from the Regional Productivity Forums will also be taking part in panel discussions as part of The Productivity Institute’s business conference on 10th June 2021.​

The RPFs and their respective leads and chairs are:​

North West Productivity Forum

  • Chair Jennifer Halliday, Finance Director of CF Fertilisers UK
  • Lead John Holden, The University of Manchester
  • Forum members

London and the South Productivity Forum

Cambridgeshire and East Anglia Productivity Forum

  • Chair Alex Plant, Director of Strategy and Regulation at Anglian Water
  • Lead Owen Garling, University of Cambridge
  • Forum members

Midlands Productivity Forum

Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East Productivity Forum

Wales Productivity Forum

Northern Ireland Productivity Forum

  • Chair Dame Rotha Johnston DBE, Chair of Board of Northern Ireland Electricity Works, Director of Qubis Ltd
  • Lead Professor John Turner, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Forum members

Scotland Productivity Forum

Find out more about The Productivity Institute and the Regional Productivity Forums by attending the conference on 10th June 2021 – book using Eventbrite.​

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