Welcome message from the Chair of the RSA East Midlands Branch, Kate Broadhurst, lecturer in innovation and strategy in the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University.
It’s a pleasure to take up the Chair of the RSA East Midlands Branch and I look forward to meeting and working with colleagues within and outside the area.
My research interests focus on place leadership and devolved models of governance for economic development and much of my research has been conducted within the Midlands (East and West).
This is an exciting time for regional research in the East Midlands; in many ways it provides a microcosm of the issues and challenges being faced globally. Current debates include the evolving governance of the region with the recently approved East Midlands devolution deal signed with Derbyshire, Derby, Nottinghamshire, and Nottingham but omitting Leicester and Leicestershire. Looking more broadly across the Midlands, the Midlands Engine’s ‘Vision for Growth’ strives to build a collective identity across East and West Midlands as a competitive and compelling region to attract investment. The East Midlands Development Company has a similar purpose, bringing to together public and private sector organisations to deliver a vision for the area’s regeneration. On transport, £1 million of central government funding has been given the region to devise detailed plans aimed at maximising the potential of high-speed rail, and UK’s largest dedicated air cargo operation at East Midlands Airport, has ambitions to become a global centre for trade and logistics and the entry point to the inland freeport.
As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, a number of grand challenges need to be debated, not least the tackling of climate change through clean energy and green growth. Within the region the Radcliffe on Soar power station site due to be de-commissioned in 2024 offers an opportunity for redevelopment with a vision to transform the site into a zero-carbon technology, advanced manufacturing and energy hub. However, in the short term, the war in Ukraine has caused uncertainty over energy supplies which threatens to delay the closure of the coal-fired power station.
As such, there is a valuable role to be played by regional colleagues within the territorial setting to explore and debate the region’s identity and challenges.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss regional studies in the East Midlands area
See the East Midlands Branch page for more details of local events.