The English Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) were established in April 1999 as part of the wider package of devolution measures. One of the first tasks undertaken by the RDAs was the preparation of Region al Economic Strategies (RESs). These strategies were intended to be a means of securing agreement on a single regional vision and programme of development. However, the RDAs are n ot the only actors present in the English regions and the RESs are not the only region al-level planning exercises. This paper reviews the guidance given to RDAs regarding the preparation and content of RESs. It also provides an initial assessment of the strategy documents an d the extent to which they are coordinated with other regional plans and programmes. The eight RESs differ in terms of their structure, content and emphasis. In general terms, and accepting the constraints under which they were prepared, it is clear that they represent positive attempts to develop strategies for the regions. Key issues for the future include the need for RDAs to agree detailed subject-specific action plans, to establish stronger links with other regional actors and to en sure that they add value to regional development.