Rochdale Development Agency and The Productivity Institute 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 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 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.

Rochdale, Riverside One
Rochdale Town Hall

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”.