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      Connective Capital - Policy Recommendations

      Policy ideas raised during think tank discussions and shaped by Bidwells and Blackstock; with the potential to Grow, Advance or Supercharge Connective Capital in the Arc.

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      • Establish a new ‘innovation’ use class in planning terms, comprising of principal laboratory and space for knowledge-intensive R&D. Using that Use Class Order definition, define any development over 50,000 sq m as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) covered by the NSIP process. This new category would provide an accelerated route through the planning process for socially important innovation and enterprise, while allowing local authorities to retain control over which applications would fall into this category definitionally.


      • Allow planning authorities to set their own fees for planning applications and ring fence that income for the planning service. Planning departments are struggling as ever-fewer resources are devoted to local authority planning which requires specialist knowledge. Part of the development process should feed back into the resource which supports the organic growth of communities.
      • Establish a regional infrastructure plan focussing on cross-boundary connectivity. Projects which seek to bind together key towns and cities in the Arc will act as anchors which support knowledge transfer. A regional infrastructure plan overseen and supported by national government would open up further opportunities for strategic coordination.


      • Arc data repositories should be centralised to foster cross-authority data collection. This would make it easier to see which authorities are under greater infrastructure pressures, and to regionally coordinate the density and spread of large-scale infrastructure.
      • Create an interactive map of connectivity layers within the Arc to identify weaknesses. A clearer intelligence picture of innovators, relationships, and physical supporting infrastructure will enable strategic planning to prioritise areas where connectivity is weaker.
      • Subsidise incubators and create forums for local authorities to partner with socially valuable enterprises to keep companies in the UK. Incubators don’t stack up financially and require support as an essential component of the Arc’s knowledge economy. Local authorities should be encouraged to liaise with incubators and take a stake in emerging innovation to drive investment returns which can support the delivery of further community infrastructure.

      Connective Capital - Articles

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