Place 10x - Call for evidence and response

From 10 May to 9 July 2023, DfE sought views on what a sub-regional economic approach should look like.

This call for evidence was issued to allow the Department for the Economy to better understand how place (particularly place in the DfE remit) is understood by stakeholders such as local councils, other public bodies, NICS departments, local industry, and third sector organisations. The aim was to start a discussion that can highlight gaps, identify successes to be built upon, and to enable officials and a future Minister to shape departmental interventions.

Place10X call for evidence – report on responses

This call has crystalised some early thinking within the department and energised parts of DfE to transform delivery by considering how a place-based approach can be implemented. This new evidence base allows DfE to make informed and therefore better decisions.

In total there were 44 written responses, 41 providing views. The Place10X team also engaged with interested stakeholders through a series of 45 meetings during the call. Several follow-up meetings have also occurred since the call ended. The call was downloaded 752 times.

Broad themes

Some broad themes were identified:


DfE needs to be more involved in place-based interventions.


Invest NI needs to be more visible sub-regionally.


DfE needs to work with others to succeed.


DfE needs to be a facilitator and supporter.

Additionality through alignment

The NICS needs to work together on place.


There needs to be neither duplication of effort nor additional bureaucracy.


Actions not words – partners need to commit time and money.


Design needs to be flexible, not just follow arbitrary sub-regional boundaries.

Overall, DfE exploring this space has been welcomed and there is cautious optimism that significant change can be delivered through more place-based policy making and programme delivery. The problems in taking on this challenge are arguably self-evident, and the solutions are – as always – easily articulated if difficult to deliver, but there are examples of success to build on.


Contributions have been frank and honest, constructive criticism has been broadly fair, and the need for DfE to do more is clear, but most importantly there is support for this direction of travel with offers to co-produce a strategic response. Alignment across government with more linkages from top to bottom and a wider focus on building an inclusive economy are important to all contributors so should inform future policy and programme initiatives.

Report on responses

You can view the report on responses:

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