Essex Growth Model

Essex County Council

In 2017, genecon created a toolkit to help Essex County Council take robust and effective decisions over its capital programme investments, with the goal of achieving the best possible economic and fiscal returns from up to 200 development sites across the county over the next 20 years.

At a glance

genecon created a live tool to help the Council take effective decisions about its capital programme investments

The aim was to achieve maximum economic and fiscal returns from over 200 development sites across the county

The Essex Growth Model is now an established and significant forecast tool guiding investment decision-making

The challenge:

Working with Essex County Council, genecon was tasked with creating a toolkit in line with the HM Treasury Green Book approach to measuring economic impact. The aim was to provide a ‘live’ tool that could assess how the delivery of infrastructure schemes on up to 200 sites across the county would realise the best possible economic and fiscal returns over the next 20 years.

The solution:

genecon designed and created the Essex Growth Model (EGM), working closely with Council officers to identify and bring together the required evidence. This was informed by Local Plan evidence and tested through an extensive consultation process with economic development and spatial planning officers within the County Council and across the 12 constituent districts.

As well as assessing the overall fiscal benefit returns to the County and districts, the EGM also looks at the gross and net economic benefit potential of each development site. For every Development Site, the EGM looks at two scenarios – ‘Max Growth’ and ‘Constrained Growth’ – to offer different  forecasts on the potential return.

The benefits considered within the EGM include:

  • Construction-related employment effects
  • Operational employment effects
  • Gross Value Added returns
  • Housing delivery
  • Land Value Uplift
  • Business Rate Returns
  • Council Tax returns
  • Community Infrastructure Levy returns
  • New Homes Bonus returns

The impact:

The EGM has proved to be a hugely significant forecasting tool for Essex County Council, which has helped it maximise the value of its Capital Investment Programme, prioritising investment decision making and demonstrating Value for Money in business case submissions.

When the project was completed and handed over by genecon, the Council assigned dedicated staff to manage the EGM and continue its widespread usage across the County.