Local economy is conventionally defined through political administrative units. The continuity of this approach has been challenged as a more networked form of economy has evolved. In response, local economies are increasingly reconfigured around city-regions, on presumption of linking network potential with local dynamics.
Such challenges present several problems for local practitioners in local economic governance. This paper examines the continuity between city-regional articulations of local economy units (LEU) and localised dynamics. Using a set of lower-tier localities in Staffordshire, UK, reconfigured into the Greater Birmingham & Solihull city-region, it uses a location quotient to examine industrial concentration as a determinant of related variety. It extrapolates these concentrations to define LEUs and examine their continuity with formal political designation. It argues growing dependence on the city-region is a partial representation which ignores industry-based approaches and the need for plurality in defining local economies. Adopting such approaches may be of value to local government policy practitioners.