After regional development agencies, April deluge?

The sell-off of regional development agency (RDA) assets
is set to start in April. The sell-offs are part of a structural reform plan
published last week by the Department for the Communities and Local
Government.

Yorkshire Forward RDA will see £50m of its assets going under the hammer, as Julie Kenny oversees the
wind down. Advantage West Midlands, meanwhile,
has £400m worth of assets.

The plan,
which sets deadlines for implementation of the Coalition’s proposals,
includes considering the future of all government offices in the regions, as
well as selling off RDA and Government office property before April
2012.

Plans for
the disposal of RDAs, Ministers claimed would “achieve the best possible outcome
for the local area” while stressing the need to “achieve the best value for the
public purse”.

Business
and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “It is our priority that the transition
from RDAs to a new economic delivery landscape is as smooth, effective and
efficient as possible. Part of this process is being clear to all interested
parties about the precise process and the timeline we are working
to.”

RDAs have now submitted plans for their assets to
Government which is reviewing them before they go back to be signed off by RDA
boards.

The Government’s Growth White Paper published in October
2010 offered no guarantee that RDA assets or proceeds from their sale would
remain in the region.

Many business tourism boards are still unsure
how the new structure will support their continued
operations.

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark claimed
the reforms would “bust open the established way of doing things. The department
will now only work to empower people, not to keep Whitehall in
power”.

Do you have a news story for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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