Economic development both strongly influences and is influenced by land use planning polices and is of high importance in developing the region’s master plan. The success or failure of economic development will have a profound effect on the future prosperity and character of the region. One of the central purposes of regional planning commissions in New Hampshire is to assist municipalities in coordinating polices for the development of the region, including economic development policies. Approaching economic development regionally can lead to better coordination of investments in infrastructure, workforce development and other areas of need and can magnify their effectiveness in achieving economic development goals.
The RPC partners with the Regional Economic Development Center of Southeastern New Hampshire (REDC) which has the lead responsibility for economic development planning in southeastern New Hampshire. The REDC was initially established in the early 1990s during a severe recession caused by a retraction in the housing, construction and banking industries. It was established to cover Rockingham County and funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to development an economic development strategy for the County. Since then, this ongoing planning effort has evolved into what is now the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy”or CEDS, and the REDC itself has expanded to a include a significant portion of Hillsborough County in addition to all of Rockingham County. In addition, the REDC has been designated by EDA as an economic development district, which helps communities, and other public entities in the region gain access to federal economic development grants to fund infrastructure (sewer, water, transportation access) improvements and other investments to support economic development.