Professor Alan Harding

Chief Economic Advisor
Greater Manchester Combined Authority



Alan is chief economic adviser to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and a visiting professor at the Alliance Manchester Business School. His role involves ensuring that the evidence and intelligence that supports Greater Manchester strategies is authoritative, up-to-date, rigorous, mutually consistent and accessible.

He is responsible for the development of collaborative relations with academic institutions and interfaces with international agencies, UK Government departments, national and international partner authorities and think tanks on policy analytics.

Before this, Alan spent 30 years in academic research institutes specialising in urban-regional development, policy and governance. He delivered more than £10m worth of pure and applied research for a broad range of UK and international clients, often with national and international academic and professional partners. He is an acknowledged thought-leader on urban-regional development issues and has a global reputation as an expert in urban-regional policy-making and sub-national institutional reform.

As a scholar, Alan is best known for analysing processes whereby policy responses to key urban-regional challenges are constructed via collaborative, regime-building behaviour within complex institutional environments in which the ‘ownership’ of problems and solutions is distributed widely across statutory and non-statutory organisations. Within the policy world, he has played a key role in the movement that has inspired UK experiments with city-regional governance.

Alan has served as an adviser to a wide range of public policy-related bodies, including OECD, UK House of Commons Select Committees, Whitehall departments and regional and sub-regional development organisations. He has made regular contributions to policy debate through the dissemination of his work to professional and lay audiences via conferences and seminars, popular print and broadcast media, specialist trade publications and online communication.

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