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The Productivity Institute signs MoU with Rochdale Development Agency

Rochdale Development Agency logoThe Productivity Institute and Rochdale Development Agency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding reflecting their commitment to collaborate to better understand and improve the productivity of in Rochdale Borough, providing valuable lessons for other parts of the UK.

The agreement signifies a shared ambition from the two organisations to identify successful strategies and interventions to improve productivity in Rochdale and having a specific focus on measuring at a local level the six “capitals” set out by Michael Gove MP in the White Paper on Levelling Up and which were in turn inspired by work published by The Productivity Institute’s Professor Diane Coyle. The six capitals are human, financial, social, physical, intangible and institutional.

For an update on the project, and insights into how this six capitals approach impacts the real world, read the Rochdale blog: How does the government’s focus on Levelling Up capitals translate to reality in Rochdale?

The partnership will also seek to inform, drive and assess the success of Atom Valley – as the flagship project to improve productivity in the borough. It follows on from the September 2022 launch of a publication On Productivity in Rochdale where Institute members Professor Richard Jones chaired a session on research and development and its role in Levelling Up, while Dr Luke Munford led a discussion on the causes and implications of health inequalities.

Councillor John Blundell, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council and RDA Board member, said:
“This is a truly ground-breaking opportunity as it is it the first time that a scientific study by world class researchers will be undertaken to measure productivity in the Borough. It is testament to the RDA and Rochdale Borough Council of their innovative and pioneering approach to truly understand the reasons behind the lower productivity in the area in order to create the right economic solutions to benefit all. This work places Rochdale at the frontiers of science in understanding and measuring the sources of productivity.”

Bart van Ark, The Productivity Institute Managing Director, said:
“The collaboration provides a unique opportunity to work together to not only identify successful strategies and interventions to improve productivity in Rochdale and support the Atom Valley initiative, but also provide valuable lessons for other parts of the UK facing similar challenges through our place-based productivity studies”.

About The Rochdale Development Agency
Rochdale Development Agency, established in 1993, is the economic development agency for Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and the Pennine district. It is dedicated to promoting Rochdale as a central investment location while continuing to support and assist existing investors.

On Productivity publication
On Productivity is a publication written by experts from The University of Manchester and The Productivity Institute and launched in September 2022 in Rochdale. The report seeks to understand and address gaps in economic performance across the UK. For example, 2019 research found that Greater Manchester’s productivity was 89% of the UK average, falling from 92.2% in 1998. It asks why such disparities exist, and what can be done about them. It includes recommendations on how to level up the country locally, regionally and nationally.