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  • Writer's pictureJohn Copps

Building bridges between central and local government: a report with lessons on implementing change

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Delivery of policy always relies on the skills, knowledge and cooperation of different levels of government – usually Departments at the centre and local government at the frontline.

Our new report - Building bridges between central and local government - explores what makes government programmes successful where they involve cooperation between central and local government.

As government begins to plan its spending priorities for autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review, this question is an important one.

It focuses on the concept of ‘bridge-building’ between the two parts of government – how to create the conditions for successful joint working, and what is required to make that cooperation work? We look at three examples from Mutual Ventures’ experience across a range of policy areas and explore the lessons can be learnt from them.

The report finds that a consistent feature of successful programmes is a trusting relationship between central and local government partners, with good communication and honest assessments of what works and what does not. This makes the skills of a bridge-builder – the ability to identify, understand and translate issues in that relationship and ensure both sides go on a journey together – a vital part of any well-run programme.

This report is aimed at both civil servants in central government designing policy programmes and local government officers that are part of those programmes. This report aims to promote dialogue and discussion when designing new programmes, or reflecting on the success of existing ones.

Download our report Building bridges between central and local government

MV Bridge-builder report_FINAL
Download PDF • 1.71MB

Download a summary graphic on bridge-building from our report

MV Bridge-builder graphic_FINAL
Download PDF • 651KB

If you want to hear more about Mutual Ventures’ experience and approach to bridge-building, please get in touch with us at


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