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Evaluation of area-based policy must be improved, review says

The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth has said that there must be better evaluations of local enterprise zones if they are to demonstrate whether such initiatives are good value for money.

The centre carried out a systematic review of area-based initiatives—which include enterprise zones—to assess the effects of local growth policies in more detail, given the policy interest in these schemes and, it noted, the confusion about their likely impacts.

The review, published on 7 January, considers 58 policy evaluations from the UK and other OECD countries. It finds that more than half of local initiatives, including enterprise zones, have had positive effects on employment. But the report says that it is difficult to tell whether they have had a positive impact on a wider scale.

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