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Mandelson: The economy must be top priority for Regional Development Agencies

The Regional Development Agencies are making a real difference to the economy, a new study suggests.

The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown that, overall, every pound invested by Regional Development Agencies will generate at least £4.50 for the regional economy.

RDAs were set up as business led organisations to promote enterprise throughout the country and drive up economic growth in their regions.

Regional Technical Waste Advisory Board Yorkshire and Humber chair Rob Murfin said: "The RDAs have made a significant contribution to sustainable waste management in England. In Yorkshire & the Humber the RDA, known as Yorkshire Forward, took the far sighted step of supporting market development initiatives for the use of recycled materials by industry and commerce. This helped to jump start many businesses involved in waste and resource efficiency.

Recycling Action Yorkshire is now expanding its role into sustainable energy and is expanding into REY, Resource Efficiency Yorkshire.

Initiatives like the RDA role in market development are a fundamental part of closing the loop in recycling. They help future proof regional economies against uncontrolled costs arising from moving to sustainable waste management practices.

There is strong support for the work of the RDAs in this regard. In the current uncertain economic climate they should be encouraged to continue this activity in to the future.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said that the RDAs were working and the Government had clear evidence that their programmes are helping to create jobs.

He added: They are on the front line of our response to the global downturn. But their medium and long term interventions and investments are equally important to prepare for the upturn. It will help to ensure that we emerge stronger.

I think the RDAs can do even more. They must relentlessly focus on economic recovery and growth and are ideally placed to help lay down the commercial infrastructure of the 21st century.
I am confident that the RDAs can rise to this challenge. I have asked them to report back to me by the end of May and will be closely following their progress.



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