16 Mar, 20219:30 am-3:50 pm
Online Conference

This event will focus on how local authorities can generate additional income, through evidence-based approaches, to ensure the sustainability and quality of services. This is particularly important in response to the additional financial pressures faced by local authorities due to COVID-19.

Policy Background 

It is estimated that in 2020-21 there will be a £3.1 billion shortfall of funding for spending and non-tax income in local councils if no further funding is forthcoming, according to the IFS. Covid-19 has resulted in local councils having to increase their spending whilst dealing with a significant decrease in income. This has resulted in an ever-widening gap in local funding, putting extra pressures on councils to find means for generating income.

In July 2020, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a report ‘COVID-19 and English council funding: what is the medium-term outlook’, outlining the impact of the pandemic on councils’ finances. It explores how reductions in council tax and business rates revenues collected this year will impact future budgets as well as the impact of additional spending pressures and reductions in revenues that are likely to persist due to Covid-19. What is clear is that the full impact is still very uncertain, with councils facing significant shortfalls and a high amount of uncertainty on the long-term financial impact of the pandemic.

In July 2020, the Local Government Association estimated that the funding gap for local councils had widened to £7.4 billion as a result of Covid-19. The BBC reported that some of the largest UK councils may have to declare themselves effectively bankrupt because of a forecasted combined budget shortfall of at least £3.2billion. 148 councils have predicted a budget shortfall from the impacts of Covid-19, with councils such as Essex facing a shortfall of £171 million and Manchester a shortfall of £100 million. It is clear that this significant shortfall in funding for many local authorities will require innovative income generation strategies in order to prevent lasting damage to their financial stability.

As local authorities start to look at the long-term recovery from Covid-19, income generation will remain the key priority. Significant shortfalls combined with increased spending will result in councils seeking innovative forms of income generation. Collaboration between central and local government will be crucial for the long-term response and recovery to Covid-19. Local councils will have to implement new, sustainable, and evidence-based income generating activities to ensure delivery of services and that local communities are supported in their recovery from Covid-19.

Watch this video to find out more about the online event experience.

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9:30 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform

Throughout the Conference you will be able to make use of:

  • One on one networking opportunities and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
9:40 am
Your Tour of the Online Conference Platform

Before proceedings get underway, this short explainer session will explore how you can get the most out of our new next generation Conference platform.

Our IG Central and Local Government Team will run through how to make virtual connections, creating networking meet ups, accessing content on demand and how to use our new Q&A, chat functions and virtual polling tools.

9:50 am
Chair’s Welcome Address 

Welcome to the Local Council Recovery and Income Generation Forum. We have designed this conference with virtual in mind from the outset and therefore have designed the day to be as practical and solutions focused as possible for you.

Some of the key themes and challenges that we will be looing at solutions to across the day will include:

  • Effective strategies for generating income through commercialisation, innovation and investment
  • Covid-19; what has been the impact and effective strategies for recovery
  • Local Council Budget Shortfalls; short-term and long-term soluions
Dr John Stanton
Dr John Stanton
Senior Lecturer in Law and Assistant Dean
The City Law School, City, University of London
Part 1 – Solutions for Generating Income
10:00 am
Opening Keynote Address: Navigating Ill-informed, Regressive Legislation and Guidance to Aid Local Recovery And Boost Income to Support Residents and Services
  • Navigating changes in legislation and guidance to fund the delivery of commercial strategies
  • Delivering commercial activity in line with other aims and objectives
Cllr Peter Fleming
Cllr Peter Fleming
Chair of Improvement and Innovation Board
Local Government Association
10:20 am
Interactive Questions and Answers
10:30 am
NAO Guidance Update: Understanding and Overcoming Challenges in Generating Income
  • Outlining the impact of Covid-19 on local government income generation and working to mitigate this
  • Understanding the impact of commercial investment in property on the finances of local authorities, as outlined in the NAO report Local Authority Investment In
  • Highlighting how innovative means of generating income, including effective property investment, will be key for the financial recovery of local authorities
  • Sharing innovative strategies for generating income whilst also improving social outcomes for local communities
Aileen Murphie
Aileen Murphie
Director MHCLG & Local Government Value for Money
10:50 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session 
11:00 am
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual platform, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections and tour our real-time resources and content.  

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.  

11:20 am
Covid-19 Panel Discussion: Strategies for Delivering Income Generation Innovation

This panel discussion will focus on current Covid-19 challenges, potential solutions to overcome them and then look to new and innovative income generation strategies which local authorities can implement.

  • Discussing the outlook for local government funding and income generation as councils begin to look at how they can recover from the financial impact of Covid-19
  • Outlining future priorities for local councils and discussing what local authorities should be doing to develop new strategies for income generation
  • Evaluating what effective future income generation will look like including targeted financial recovery plans, use of advertising and transformation plans
  • Exploring the cultural barriers to commercialism within councils and how this impacts potential income generation
  •  Ensuring long-term financial resilience for local authorities through evidence-backed strategies
Joe Simpson
Joe Simpson
Leadership Centre
John-Paul Danon
John-Paul Danon
Advertising Sales Director
Council Advertising Network
12:00 pm
The Impact of Covid-19 on Local Council Funding and Income
  • Exploring the impact of Covid-19 on different local council revenue streams
  • Outlining how council tax performance has differed across areas in the past year
  • Assessing the potential long-term changes in shopping and commuting habits and how this will impact revenue sources
Kate Ogden
Kate Ogden
Research Economist
Institute for Fiscal Studies
David Phillips
David Phillips
Associate Director
Institute for Fiscal Studies
12:20 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
12:30 pm
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual platform, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections and tour our real-time resources and content.  

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.  

Part 2: Recovery through Generating Income and Commercialisation
1:10 pm
Practical Insights: Commercialisation – A Culture Shift
Susan Finnegan
Susan Finnegan
Commercial & Partnerships Director, The Good Business Festival
Culture Liverpool, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
1:30 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
1:40 pm
Case Study: Developing an Award Winning Approach to Commercialisation
  • Sharing Cheltenham Borough Councils journey since 2016 in developing and adopting a commercial strategy for income generation and service delivery
  • Exploring how Cheltenham has developed a commercial approach which has ensured value for its local community whilst meeting business needs
  • Outlining the impact of covid-19 on income generation and how the borough is adapting to support recovery
  • Sharing latest updates and plans for the The Golden Valley Development and its establishment as the UK centre for cyber, exploring the return on investment for the local community and wider area

Winner of the Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Initiative APSE Service Award 2019 

Winner of the Best Commercial Council MJ Award 2019

Paul Jones
Paul Jones
Executive Director of Finance and Assets
Cheltenham Borough Council 
2:00 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
2:10 pm
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual platform, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections and tour our real-time resources and content.  

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.  

2:20 pm
Interactive Workshop: Learning Practical Income Generation and Commercial Strategies to Implement Within Your Own Local Council

In this workshop you will learn practical strategies which you can implement in your local authority in order to generate income as we look at the long-term recovery from Covid-19

  • Learn income generation and commercialisation strategies
  • Sharing insights from the £1b Challenge on proactively developing solutions to meet financial challenges
  • Implement practical methods which work specifically for your local authority
  • Understand the way that income generation for local authorities is changing
David Elverson
David Elverson
Managing Director
3:20 pm
Chairs Closing Address

*Programme Subject to Change


This Forum is specifically designed to for local authorities and local government. Focusing on the importance of generating income to aid in local recovery after the impacts of Covid-19. Typical job titles attending this event include:

  • Commercial Managers
  • Councillors
  • Directors of Innovation
  • Directors of Corporate and Commercial Services
  • Heads of Business Development
  • Finance Officers and Managers
  • Heads of Strategic Planning
  • Service Directors
This Forum is also open to the wider public, voluntary and private sector in order to encourage debate and networking.