315° THE RDA MAGAZINE OCT 2007 ISSUE 13
Waste revolution Novel solutions aid recycling Green light Go ahead for ‘media city’ project Turner prize Raising the cultural temperature
University of Cumbria opens for business
THE RDA MAGAZINE OCT 2007 ISSUE 13
CONTENTS THE THIRD DEGREE 4
Technology drives waste revolution
Enterprise is spurring Rossendale recovery
WASTE REVOLUTION Household rubbish is set to be turned into a range of economically valuable commodities as the Northwest gears up for a new era of sustainable waste management.
10 Scientists step on the accelerator 11 Foreign companies drive growth
SKILLS AND EDUCATION 12 University set to boost Cumbria economy
PEOPLE AND JOBS 14 Energy Coast plan to revive West Cumbria
Work begins on the task of building the world leading complex that will help to fuel the revolution taking place in the new media and broadcast industries as construction teams move onto the mediacity:uk site.
16 Southport tees up to become classic resort 17 More help for rural communities 18 Green light for mediacity:uk development
INFRASTRUCTURE 20 Giving nature a helping hand 21 Cruise liners return to Liverpool
The international art spotlight falls on Liverpool this autumn as the Turner Prize leaves London for the first time in 23 years to support the city's European Capital of Culture programme.
22 Design reviews for landmark schemes
QUALITY OF LIFE 24 Turner prize raises cultural temperature
26 Measures to combat climate change 27 Sporting elite head for Manchester
REGULARS 28 People in the region 30 Event highlights 31 Getting in touch
‘A dynamic, sustainable international economy which competes on the basis of knowledge, advanced technology and an excellent quality of life for all.’
Editor Trevor Bates email@example.com NWDA Rachel Ormandy email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01925 400 237 visit www.nwda.co.uk & www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com
CREATING SUCCESS With Liverpool beginning the countdown to its European Capital of Culture celebrations next year, and as I take on the Chairmanship of the Liverpool 08 Board, I would like to reflect on what I believe has been an exciting transformational period of change for the city over the past few years. For those visiting, working and living in Liverpool, the changes to its skyline are evident following an unprecedented £2.5 billion physical and economic regeneration of the city’s waterfront and central business and shopping districts. With key success stories including the Arena and Convention Centre at Kings Dock, the recently launched cruise liner facility at Pier Head, Grosvenor’s Liverpool One retail and leisure development, and the new Museum of Liverpool, investor confidence is at an all-time high. These exciting developments are not only crucial to next year’s Capital of Culture celebrations but will also enable Liverpool to realise its ambition of creating a visitor destination of international quality. Importantly, all of these successes are the result of years of focused and sustained investment by public and private sector partners. Since 1999, the NWDA has helped to lead a number of high-profile projects and we know from experience that change does not happen overnight. Transformation is a long process and it is only through working together, prioritising resources and investing in highimpact projects that will help us realise our bold ambition for the region. One excellent example of where this approach has worked is the growth of the Northwest’s reputation as a strong global leader in the biomedical sector. In 1999, when Daresbury lost the £600 million ‘Diamond Synchrotron’ project, the region’s response
was to establish a number of new initiatives, including the creation of the first regional science council in the country, the publication of a Regional Science Strategy and the launch of the Northwest Science Fund to invest in innovative research. Through the strategic partnership established between the key Northwest Universities, Daresbury Laboratory, the Agency and Halton Borough Council, the site is now home to the Daresbury International Science and Innovation Campus and has been identified by the government as one of two major research centres in the UK. It is expected that the new Campus will make a substantial contribution to the region’s £1.69 billion research and development base. The transformations taking place across the region demonstrate how continued efforts and sustained investment from all partners involved in economic regeneration over the years are now paying dividends. The projects coming to fruition now have been challenging but prove that with a focus on transformational projects, we can continue to create the success stories of the future.
Bryan Gray, Chairman, October 2007
THE THIRD DEGREE â€œWE NEED TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS THAT IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE CAN GO HAND IN HAND WITH IMPROVING BUSINESS PERFORMANCE." DAVID ANDERSON CHIEF EXECUTIVE CO-OPERATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICES
DAVID ANDERSON David Anderson is Chief Executive of Co-operative Financial Services (CFS), a big regional player with operations in Manchester, Stockport and Skelmersdale and an award-winning reputation for social responsibility. A keen sailor, he has spent most of his career in the mutual sector having been Chief Executive of Job Centre Plus and the Yorkshire Building Society.
Your organisation is based on strong cooperative values. Given the competitive nature of modern business is there room still for that sort of principled approach? Absolutely - the mutual sector adds valuable diversity to the economy. There’s nothing wrong with plcs but I think it’s really good that there are some organisations that are motivated differently and won’t respond to the markets in the same way the big players do. That’s evident by the Co-operative Bank being the first into ethical marketing and the fact that we’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of that policy at a time when the wider banking and general retail communities are just jumping on that bandwagon. How will CFS continue to differentiate itself if your competitors are adopting similar policies? What is difficult to match is our track record and authenticity. We have a real environmental focus on our products. We offer green mortgages that offset emissions from homes, and last year we launched eco-friendly motor insurance. That’s not the only thing that sets us apart. In this office (the CIS Tower, Manchester) we recycle ten times as much paper as the average office. Outside we have Europe’s largest array of photovoltaic cells and across the city on
another building we have the largest urban wind farm. Well over 90% of our electricity comes from green sources. Does your customer feedback indicate support for what you do? Our customers mandate us to do the things we do. And they tell us what not to do. Last year, for example, as part of its ‘Customers Who Care’ campaign the Bank teamed up with its customers to combat climate change. The partnership ethos is deeply embedded in our products and in our relationships with customers and I think for other organisations it would be quite difficult to replicate. Does having a strong environmental and social conscience win you business? We can show that a third of our customers join the Co-op Bank because of its ethical position. If you look at the corporate banking side, the area where our ethical policy has most bite, we have turned down £700 million in loans over the last 15 years from organisations who don’t meet the bank’s ethical criteria – people involved in fossil fuel extraction, the arms industry or animal testing. But that stance has helped us grow our corporate loans book by 250% in the same period so it’s a two-edge sword. Where are the growth opportunities in your marketplace? Ethical consumerism is a very fast growing market and that is a great opportunity for us. In 2005 it was worth £28 billion in the UK and overtook spending on tobacco on alcohol for the first time. It was up 11% on the previous year and the big challenge for us is to make sure that with everyone else trying to get into the same space, our voice is heard. Big financial concerns tend to be headquartered in London. Is there a temptation to move your operations to the City? Although CFS is absolutely a national business there’s a lot of benefit to being outside London. That’s partly why we are able to think differently from our competitors. We also attract a lot of very good people to work for us because of lifestyle issues. Support for worthy causes is a hallmark of socially responsible companies. How active is CFS in this area? We are working on a number of fronts to realise our social obligations. Take the Chimney Pot project where the Co-operative Bank has provided Urban Splash with an essential funding package to give one of Salford’s most run-down areas a real facelift. And we’ve launched a pioneering scheme that will enable inmates at Forest Bank Prison, Pendlebury, to open
bank accounts while still in prison. CFS staff have also completed the entire refurbishment of a 20-room homeless hostel in Skelmersdale. How can we motivate other businesses in the Northwest to improve their green credentials? Businesses across the region will have different motivations and ways of operating but we all share a common goal of securing a sustainable and profitable future. We need to get the message across that improving environmental performance can go hand in hand with improving business performance. There has been an historical belief in some quarters that being green and/or ethical comes with a price tag associated with it. We have successfully proved that it isn’t the case and that our ethical policy, as I indicated earlier, has actually been a positive driver for our business. Financial services are a major force for economic growth. What do we need to do to grow the sector here in the Northwest? The Northwest has plenty of things going for it – good accessibility in terms of travel networks, strong business and academic centres already in place and some terrific regeneration projects underway in our towns and cities. The scale of commercial activity in the region is already sufficient to provide attractive careers in financial and professional services. The next step is to compete with London for more of the business from the rest of the UK and internationally. CFS is doing its bit by investing £250 million – much of it in this region – to support planned growth in a number of areas. We’re also the lead sponsor of a new Academy in North Manchester that will have a curriculum with a strong financial focus to ensure that there is a good supply of talented and educated people coming into the sector. It’s a very sensible thing for us to be associated with. Is there any key regional message you would like to get across? This region is increasingly seen as a success story and it can further raise its profile by taking a national lead on climate change. I’d like to see every part of the community accept the challenge and tackle it with vigour. It’s not all cost, there’s plenty of benefit and opportunity associated with it, plenty of win-win things that make it worthwhile. From a business perspective it will enhance the region’s reputation and encourage companies and individuals to come here. For further information: www.cfs.co.uk
BUSINESS NEWS Newly released government figures show that the NWDA created or safeguarded 20,205 jobs in 2006-07, created or attracted 3,036 businesses to the region, helped 23,997 businesses improve their performance and attracted £373 million of investment to regenerate deprived areas, 69% of it from the private sector. Competitiveness Minister Stephen Timms has announced the reappointment of four members of the NWDA Board. John Merry and Peter Hensman have been reappointed until December 2010 while Brenda Smith and Sir Martin Harris will carry on until December 2008. Less than two years after opening its doors, One Central Park, an £18 million innovative facility in East Manchester that bridges the gap between academia and business, has supported nearly 100 entrepreneurs. Now a model for other regions, the facility was established with £8 million of NWDA funding. Healthcare companies Fresenius Kabi and Calea celebrated the opening of their combined HQ and manufacturing facility at Manor Park, Runcorn, following NWDA grant support of £490,000. The £2.8 million project will lead to 50 new jobs by the end of 2007. Cumbria has a new state-of-the-art venue for business support, conferencing, training, and sixth form study following the official opening of Millom Network Centre by the Duke of Kent. Capital costs of the building overlooking the Duddon Estuary have been provided by a number of partners including the NWDA. ENWORKS, which is helping small companies across the Northwest make major energy savings, has won the world’s leading green energy prize at the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. The organisation shared first prize in the Energy Efficiency category with Cumbria Energy Efficiency Advice Centre.
The Northwest is gearing up for a new era of sustainable waste management where household rubbish is turned into a range of economically valuable commodities from renewable energy fuels to agricultural products.
TECHNOLOGY DRIVES WASTE REVOLUTION Faced with increased pressures to improve recycling rates and drastically reduce the amount and cost of waste going to landfill, local authorities are opting for novel solutions involving state-of-the art technologies that will have a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Up to £1 billion is expected be invested in capital infrastructure in the next few years to treat the 4.5 million tons of municipal waste generated in the region each year. The servicing of long-term Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts between waste disposal authorities, councils and private sector partners is also expected to produce many new business opportunities and create new markets for recyclates, including waste-to-energy. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is working with a number of waste-to-energy companies to identify suitable sites in the region to establish combined heat and power stations (CHP). Recycling and sustainable waste management is one of the key growth areas in the burgeoning environmental technologies industry, contributing 23,500 jobs and £700 million in GVA to the regional economy. One of the key drivers for change is climate change and the need to reduce
green gas emissions. The potential of new technology to revolutionise the waste services industry was underlined earlier this year when the government gave the go-ahead for a Defra backed £13 million demonstrator recycling and treatment facility at Huyton Business Park. Due to start operating at the end of 2007 following planning approval, the plant will treat up to 50,000 tonnes of waste from Merseyside homes and stop over 80% of it going into landfill.
NOVEL PROCESS The project is partnership driven and involves the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, Fairport Engineering Ltd, Defra, and the NWDA, which is providing £2.1 million of support funding. Fairport uses a novel process to recover recyclable materials such as glass and plastics and convert the residue into fuel products that can be specifically tailored to meet customer needs. Steve Whatmore, Director of Fairport and sister company Orchid Environmental, says the technology is British and has been developed in the Northwest with help from the NWDA. “It works and it’s available now. We will
Heart of the operation – Fairport’s new facility at Huyton
demonstrate its capability on Merseyside and show that people don’t have to shop abroad for alternative technologies. It will also help us to dispel some of the myths about waste disposal plants.” The company is selling the technology around the world and has an order book of £200 million. Envirolink, the NWDA-sponsored business support organisation for the environmental technologies sector, is pursuing a number of strategic initiatives to increase the profitability and competitiveness of supply chain companies. Chief Executive Nick Storer believes that legislative pressures and the rising costs of landfill will inevitably mean that the recovery, treatment and reprocessing of waste will become the preferred routes of the future. He says: “This will provide the region with a platform for the Northwest to become the premier business hub for waste-related operations throughout the UK and the world.” Research and development, technology commercialisation and market development are key areas of activity for Envirolink. For example, it has provided support funding for a Liverpool John Moores University project that uses the potential use of hybrid microwave plasmas to treat nappy and tyre waste within the region.
STABILISED FUEL Finishing touches – the Fairport plant will be operational by the end of 2007
A new technology and investment momentum is building up within the region as waste disposal authorities and councils establish long-term waste-servicing PFI agreements with private sector partners leading to new job, entrepreneurial and construction opportunities. The value of procurement contracts in the five sub-regions is estimated at up to £10 billion over the next 25 years with up to £1 billion being spent on state of the art waste processing and recycling plants. Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority’s preferred partner, the Viridor/Laing consortia, plans to invest
£330 million on new ‘world-class’ treatment infrastructure to deal with waste from nearly one million households. Five large-scale mechanical and biological treatment plants will be built across the conurbation to convert 600,000 tons of waste that cannot be recycled into 275,000 tonnes of stabilised fuel, which will be transported by rail to a proposed new Ineos Chlor power generation facility at Runcorn. Ineos is planning to invest over £300 million in the new 100MW Combined Heat and Power Station, creating over 40 jobs.
RENEWABLE ENERGY In Lancashire, the county council and Blackpool council are further down the line having agreed a £2 billion PFI waste service contract with Global Renewables – a Manchester-based subsidiary of the Australian group GDR Ltd – and Bovis Lend Lease earlier in the year. The technology-driven agreement will have a strong focus on the supply chain and will generate 300 jobs when two new cutting edge plants, costing £330 million, come on stream in 2009. The facilities at Leyland and Thornton will handle 600,000 tonnes of waste a year with organic portions being converted into renewable energy and a high quality compost product suitable for land remediation, woodland and crop planting. Merseyside is in the very early stages of the bidding process and it could be another two years before a PFI waste service agreement is signed. One of the aims is to increase recycling rates from 23% – one of the lowest in the country – to 50% by 2020. “The pressures on local authorities are very great,” says Carl Beer, Director of Merseyside Waste Authority, “but it will be cheaper to do something than do nothing because of the financial penalties from not meeting landfill targets.” For further information: www. envirolinknorthwest.co.uk
Home-grown technology – domestic waste is treated in two rotating vessels at the Huyton plant
Home from home – the Bacup play centre keeps children active and amused
ENTERPRISE IS SPURRING Rossendale, the area of Lancashire between metropolitan Greater Manchester, the M6 and its White Rose neighbour, and once a major centre of the footwear manufacturing industry, has won official recognition as the region’s “capital of enterprise”. The area, which contains a collection of small towns including Bacup, Rawtenstall and Haslingden, is the Northwest winner in the Enterprising Britain 2007 Awards thanks to the efforts of the communitybased project, PEER (People Encouraging Enterprise in Rossendale). PEER also wins £75,000 from the Enterprise hotspot – Bacup High Street
Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to assist the continued creation, growth and survival of new businesses and social enterprises, a key factor in Rossendale’s emerging economic recovery. PEER’s Enterprise Facilitator Andy MacNae, says: “When I first started four years ago, people here said ‘the situation will never change, so many places are vacant, empty, forgotten.’ “Now people realise there has been improvement, there is potential and it’s now up to everyone to realise that potential.” The fist project of its type in Europe, PEER was founded in September 2003 after
community leaders pledged to reverse the economic fortunes of a borough rated as one of the worst performing local authorities in England and with below national average business start-up numbers.
BUSINESS DREAM A community enterprise, based around a 40-strong board of committed volunteers from across the borough, aims to help people to start or grow businesses and social enterprises. In its first four years, PEER has provided substantive help to over 200 businesses and offered advice to many more. Latest data shows an increase in business start-ups and VAT registrations from 4.3 per 1,000 of the workforce in 2002 to 5.7 per 1,000, around 25% above the Lancashire average and 15% above the Great Britain average. There is not a typical example of those who have sought help from PEER, says MacNae. “Often people we meet for the first time have a dream of running a business – they know what they want to do but not much more than that. Others are already down that road but want to expand and again need help.” Ronnie Barker, former Managing Director of the footwear manufacturing Sutton Group of companies in Rossendale, is chairman of the
PEER SUPPORT FOR PLAY CENTRE When Peter Foster spotted a good deal on eBay – a children’s large play frame with slides and tunnels – he took the plunge. He and his wife Lindsey, a child minder, wanted to start their own business but had no premises. “I had to put the equipment in storage for a year,” says Peter, now the owner of the flourishing Kids@Play, a play centre for the under 11s which opened in April 2006. While he searched for a suitable site in Bacup, Peter was helped to prepare a business plan and eventually to find the
former warehouse site at Alder Street, now home to his business, by PEER’s Andy MacNae. “Andy gave me very good advice early on,” says Peter, whose play centre has a baby and toddler area, a café and rooms to hire for parties and special occasions. “I was interested in a couple of buildings but Andy found out they would not be suitable.” For further information: Kids@Play tel 01706 877066
ROSSENDALE RECOVERY PEER board which held an ‘open day’ in July, attended by representatives of local authorities and regeneration agencies across the UK. Already neighbouring local authority Burnley is considering a similar PEER Enterprise Facilitation project. “When we started out in 2003, there was a lot of apathy,” he said. “But we are ‘can do’ people who are helping to give Rossendale an enterprise facelift.” Across the Northwest, there are around 500,000 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), employing 47% of the population and accounting for a surprising 37% of private sector turnover, but only around a third of
“PEOPLE REALISE THERE HAS BEEN AN IMPROVEMENT AND IT’S NOW UP TO EVERYONE TO REALISE THAT POTENTIAL” ANDY MACNAE PEER ENTERPRISE FACILITATOR
new start-ups make it into a fourth year. The NWDA recently commissioned an Enterprise Culture project, entitled ‘Rising to the Enterprise Challenge’, aimed at developing forward-thinking people throughout the region, from school through to employment. A Northwest Enterprise Forum will also be launched in November, during Enterprise Week. Designed to challenge and monitor the success of enterprise across the region, the core forum of 15 people, will head ‘short life’ working groups who will meet when required to explore specific issues in detail.
ENTREPRENEURS NETWORK The Agency has also launched a Business Start-up and Survival Project, targeting specific under-performing geographic regions, including housing renewal and urban regeneration areas, and hard-to-reach groups of people including black and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and women. Jim Johnstone, NWDA Business Strategy Manager, says: “In an increasingly competitive, global and knowledge-based economy, we must create a culture in the Northwest that fosters enterprising people – whether in education, seeking to start in business or in employment – who are responsive to change and able to seize opportunities.”
In July the NWDA officially signed up over 70 businesswomen as Women’s Enterprise Ambassadors, to represent the Northwest in the drive to build a national network of female entrepreneurs. Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, said: “Women are drastically under-represented in the business world and we are hoping, with a little support and encouragement, we can persuade women to think about enterprise and address the business gender imbalance.” The Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has launched a new service – IntoEnterprise – which aims to provide support and expertise to new entrepreneurs. The project, which aims to help 110 businesses by July 2008, will provide a programme of support for the region’s SMEs trading within their first year. It offers free access to business experts and coaching, online business skills training, promotional opportunities and peer support networks which are intended to foster a business ‘community’. For further information: www.peer-support.co.uk www.intoenterprise.co.uk
BUSINESS Scientists are making important headway in their bid to have a new £230 million world-beating particle accelerator built on the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus in Cheshire. The project team behind the proposed 4GLS (Fourth Generation Light Source) is currently commissioning a £15 million prototype at Daresbury Laboratory that will help to prove the technology crucial to the development of the much larger research facility. 4GLS will be designed to produce very short pulses of light a million times more intense and a thousand times shorter than current ‘third generation’ synchrotrons and will have applications in key industrial sectors such as healthcare, energy, catalysis, electronics and security. “This is an idea whose time has come and the technology required to build it has matured to meet the promise of the concept. It will undoubtedly open up new areas of Nobel Prize winning science,” enthused Professor Elaine Seddon, the 4GLS Programme Leader. “The bioscience opportunities are huge and if we can secure the investment for the Northwest it will be a major generator of economic wealth.” A 50-strong team of physicists, engineers and technical staff led by Dr Susan Smith is
“IF WE CAN SECURE THE INVESTMENT FOR THE NORTHWEST IT WILL BE A MAJOR GENERATOR OF ECONOMIC WEALTH.” PROFESSOR ELAINE SEDDON 4GLS PROGRAMME LEADER
expected to have the Energy Recovery Linac Prototype (ERLP) running in the next six months. The Northwest Regional Development Agency has provided nearly £3 million of support for the project through the Northwest Science Council. ERLP brings together three technologies – photoinjector, super-conducting accelerator and free electron laser – in a single unique facility. Once running it will be the most intense source of broadband THz radiation in Europe. The prototype phase will reduce the technical risk of designing, procuring and building 4GLS and has already provided a
SCIENTISTS STEP ON THE ACCELERATOR wealth of information on technical design, costings and operations. The 4GLS team, whose members are drawn from Northwest and other universities as well as Daresbury Laboratory and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, expect to submit a bid for funding for the full facility this autumn. “If the money to build 4GLS is approved then there are two options, either it will be built at the Daresbury Campus or the equivalent Harwell Campus,” says Professor Seddon. “I’m quietly confident that if the goahead is given it will be built at Daresbury. A cost benefit analysis indicated that Daresbury was a clear winner.” Though the science on 4GLS is international she believes the region has a big role to play in ensuring 4GLS is located at Daresbury because of the potential benefits it can deliver to the regional economy in jobs, inward investment and visitor spend. 4GLS is expected to have up to 1,000 visiting scientists a year who will typically stay for one to two weeks. A large proportion of consumables bought for the operation of 4GLS is also likely to go to local suppliers. Industrial collaborators are contributing to the design of 4GLS to ensure it meets the needs of 21st Century business. Two industry days attracted senior figures from some of
Beacon of scientific excellence – Rachel Buckley of the 4GLS team working on the new ERLP facility
the region’s key industries. In addition to Professor Seddon, the project team includes Professor Wendy Flavell of the University of Manchester, Professor Peter Weightman of the University of Liverpool, Professor Mike Poole of the Accelerator Science and Technology and the world-renowned physicist Professor Swapan Chattopadhyay, Director of the Cockcroft Institute. For further information: Prof. Elaine Seddon email: email@example.com www.4gls.ac.uk
FOREIGN COMPANIES DRIVE GROWTH Overseas companies have given the Northwest another vote of confidence by ploughing nearly £1.8 billion into new projects, expansions and acquisitions making it the UK’s leading UK region for foreign direct investment. According to figures released by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Northwest attracted 138 inward investment projects in 2006-07, a rise of 23%, creating or safeguarding 7,520 jobs, 700 more than last year. The US contributed the lion’s share of projects (50 in total or 40%) but China contributed an impressive 17 projects (12%) as the world’s fastest growing economy targets investment in Europe. Close collaboration between the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and its public sector partners resulted in the flow of new investment touching all parts of the region. Handleman, a US customer services and fulfilment house has created 400 jobs by investing £17 million in a new Greater Manchester project while Lancashire celebrated a £15 million expansion by Asahi Glass of Japan. India’s Tata International acquired Brunner Mond’s operations in Cheshire, Eastman Chemicals (USA) invested nearly £40 million in an expansion in Cumbria and in Merseyside O2 (Spain) expanded their call centre operation. John Cunliffe, Head of Investment Services for the NWDA which oversees operations in the US, Japan, Australia and China, said: This is another very strong performance. From our experience companies underestimate the numbers of people that will be employed and we expect these numbers to be exceeded even further. “We have revisited projects announced three or four years ago and have found that employment targets in many cases have been exceeded. We are finding that companies
Load factor – a Handleman operative refills stacking equipment
tend to be conservative on job numbers”. The contribution of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region’s economic growth is impressive. Overseas companies represent less than 1% of the Northwest’s 300,000 businesses, they contribute 16.4% of gross value added (GVA) and account for 11% of jobs. “The impact is phenomenal. Nearly £2 billion was invested last year by foreign owned companies from nearly 20 countries. These investments bring good quality jobs and new technologies,” says Cunliffe.
CHINESE INVESTMENT The number of inward investment projects supported by grants is falling. Only 10 of the 138 projects attracted last year were supported by grants. This is two fewer than the year before, further underlining the general competitive appeal as an international business location. “We are not saying grants are no longer important but more and more companies are coming to the Northwest because they recognise the region is the best location if they want the right skills, infrastructure and sector support,” adds Cunliffe. Chinese companies continue to build a marketing and sales bridgehead, which the Agency hopes will lead to future R&D and manufacturing investment. The Northwest outperformed most other regions in the number of jobs per project (54 against Yorkshire and the Humber’s 52 and the South East’s 27) but the number has been declining for a number of years. “What we are doing now is aimed at better quality investments and higher value jobs,” explained Cunliffe. Faced with fierce global competition for FDI, the NWDA is putting more effort and resources into its investment marketing activities following the launch of an ambitious threeyear regional internationalisation strategy, which takes a more integrated approach to overseas trade. The region has made a good start to 200708 with General Motors announcing that it is investing £300 million in the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port. For further investment: www.englandsnorthwest.com
High productivity – Handleman’s new Bolton facility is fully automated
SKILLS AND EDUCATION NEWS Liverpool Hope University and Business Bridge graduate Olusegun Adetunji has outperformed 155 other students nationally to win the ‘National Student Employee of the Year’ Award for his achievement in combining university studies with quality part-time employment with Wirral Council. Entrepreneur Deirdre Bounds, who grew a bed-sit business into a global leader in ethical travel, was the guest speaker at the official launch of the Northern Leadership Academy held in Lancaster University Management School’s Leadership Centre. The NLA’s aim is to boost Northern productivity.
‘Bring your dreams to the University of Cumbria’ is the new catchy marketing slogan for Britain’s newest higher education institution and Vice-Chancellor Christopher Carr, aims to make sure those student dreams become reality.
Lancaster University has opened the third stage of its Lancaster Environment Centre development. Part funded by the NWDA, the £8.4 million office and lab building will provide space for small companies wishing to locate into LEC or co-locate new activities. More effort and resources are being invested in developing the knowledge and training required for future decommissioning and new build programmes following the opening of the Tyndall Centre for Nuclear Research at the University of Central Lancashire, the first of its kind in the UK. Salford University’s new £10 million purpose-built Law School has opened its doors to a target-beating first intake of almost 100 students. Baroness Brenda Hale, one of the UK’s 12 Law Lords unveiled the foundation stone in 2006 and will return for the official opening in February 2008. Health experts have unveiled plans to establish a £20 million Biomedical Research Centre in Liverpool to pioneer the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools to treat microbial disease. The scheme is a collaborative venture between the University of Liverpool, the city’s School of Tropical Medicine and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Popular location – students enjoy a break from lectures on the Carlisle campus
UNIVERSITY SET TO BOOST CUMBRIA ECONOMY
Although the university is bidding to attract students from all over the country Professor Carr is anxious to raise educational and career aspirations much nearer home where Higher Education (HE) participation among young Cumbrians is patchy and in some places poor. Business leaders, educationalists and economic planners believe that building and retaining a skilled, graduate-rich workforce is crucial to restoring the county’s prosperity. “If you look around the country at the most prosperous cities and sub-regions a major contributing factor is the presence of a good local university and there’s a hope and expectation we can replicate that in Cumbria,” explains Professor Carr, former Principal of St. Martin’s College, Lancaster. Access is another barrier to greater HE participation, largely because of the remote geographical character of the area. Academic officials hope the distinctive structure of the university will help to overcome this problem.
AMBITIOUS PLANS The 17,600 full and part-time students enrolled at the university are spread over a distributed network of campuses inherited from the main institutions that have amalgamated to form the University of Cumbria. These include the Carlisle, Lancaster and Ambleside campuses of St. Martin’s College, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA) in Carlisle and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) sites at Carlisle and Penrith. There are also smaller outposts in Whitehaven, Barrow and London. Conceived for the broadband age, the university officially started life on August 1 with Professor Carr pledging to break down cultural barriers to higher education and develop a university Cumbrians will be proud of. “It’s their university. I want them to talk about it, support it and send their children to it. It’s fairly challenging creating a brand new institution from a collection of disparate parts but everyone here is up for it.”
Dream girl – a catchy marketing poster for the new university
Quality of life – the Ambleside campus
The university has ambitious plans for its built estate, its teaching and research activities, its relations with employers and its links with the new Tiger economies of China and India. Over the next ten years it will invest up to £190 million in developing the various campuses, IT infrastructure and teaching programmes. An early priority will be to build an iconic HQ building in Carlisle. It also aims to increase student numbers by 50% to 22,800 by 2017, a “challenging” target, admits Professor Carr, but one he insists can be achieved. The university, which will have an opening budget of £80 million and 1,600 staff, has managed to acquire significant start-up funding including £10 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and £9.4 million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It is also being supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and will have a particular focus on developing skills to support the nuclear industry.
INNOVATIVE PROSPECTUS Recruitment fair and website interest in the new institution has been high, “hugely in excess of the experience we have hitherto had as colleges,” reports the Vice-Chancellor. He is hopeful a strong marketing campaign themed on ‘bring your dreams to the University of Cumbria,’ an innovative prospectus and attractive study locations can convert that interest into a health flow of applications. The university is developing a number of ideas and niche specialisms to differentiate itself in the marketplace. Plans are well advanced to create an Institute of Transport and Logistics in partnership with a private sector training body and a private operator, which will have formal links with two Chinese universities to provide a two-way flow of study and research opportunities in what are key growth areas for the Cumbrian economy. In another pioneering move the university is setting up an Institute of Policing at Penrith, one of the first in the country. It has
already been chosen as the preferred training partner by Cumbria Police and is bidding for similar status with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Enterprise will figure prominently in the university’s interaction with local communities. A commercial and training arm, Unisolutions, is being established on Kingmoor Business Park, Carlisle, to meet the needs of the public and private sectors. For further information: www.cumbria.ac.uk
DISTRIBUTED LEARNING The University of Cumbria adds a different dimension to educational provision by engaging with local Further Education (FE) colleges and three universities in a lifelong learning network offering a range of study modes including face-to-face and electronic. Jane Inman, Executive Director for Cumbria Higher Learning, says the key focus of the partnership will be to develop progression opportunities for students who would not otherwise be able to study because of geographical constraints. “This really is an opportunity of a lifetime,” she says. Members of the learning network include four FE colleges (Carlisle, Kendal, Furness and Lakes) and four HE providers (the University of Cumbria, UCLAN, Lancaster University and the Open University). Professor Sir Martin Harris, former Vice Chancellor the University of Manchester, recommended that Cumbria should have its own university built around the concept of distributed learning in a report on the future of higher education in Cumbria published by HEFCE in September 2006. The new university will have 21-strong Board chaired by the Venerable Peter Ballard, the Archdeacon of Lancaster. The Church of England provides a third of Board members, a linkage inherited from St. Martin’s. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will be installed as Chancellor on November 21.
PEOPLE AND JOBS NEWS Blackpool Task Force has published a ten-year action plan for the sustainable development of the resort which identifies a series of measures to lever almost £2 billion in private sector investment, create 11,000 net jobs and provide 2,000 new homes. Development work has begun on the £5 million New Port Business Park, Ellesmere Port, which will provide 30,000 sq ft of new space in seven industrial units and generate up to 95 jobs. The first phase project secured its funding from the Borough Council, the NWDA and Europe. New East Manchester (NEM), the urban regeneration company set up to drive the regeneration of East Manchester, has been recognised as the regeneration agency of the year in the Regeneration and Renewal Awards. NEM also gained the top award in the training category for the Regeneration Assistants project, which helped local residents to gain employment in regeneration. After extensive consultation the Lancashire Economic Partnership has launched a £1.6 billion blueprint aimed at creating 50,000 jobs by the end of the decade. The NWDA has identified a potential funding contribution of £245 million in its Strategic Investment Plan for 2007-10. Burnley’s Weavers Triangle, one of the world’s best collections of cotton weaving mills, is to receive heritage lottery funding of £1.9 million to support the £76 million repair, restoration and re-use of some of the area’s 60 historic buildings. The NWDA has helped fund a masterplan to guide regeneration.
ENERGY COAST PLAN TO REVIVE WEST CUMBRIA Public and private sector partners have unveiled a far-reaching set of economic proposals to transform West Cumbria over the next 20 years positioning it as Britain’s ‘Energy Coast’. A national nuclear laboratory, new acute services hospital, better schools and housing, improved road links and more business parks are among the investment priorities identified in a new masterplan for the area. The blueprint for growth is expected to generate 16,000 new jobs and give the Cumbrian economy a much needed £700 million boost. It is now being fine tuned in preparation for a bid for government funding this autumn. Although the measures will cost over £1.7 billion little new money will be required to deliver them. The focus will be on persuading ministers to speed up existing programmes. Members of the West Cumbria Strategic Forum – the Cumbria Partners – believe the area can make a significant contribution to securing the UK’s future energy needs and combating climate change if the ‘prospectus for change’ recommendations are implemented. The Forum was set up two years ago to deal with the challenges and opportunities arising from the loss of 8,000 jobs in the nuclear generation and reprocessing industry at Sellafield over the next few years. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority commissioned Grant Thornton to produce a masterplan that would build on the area’s strengths in energy and environmental technologies. Key ministers and senior civil servants were briefed on the 2027 vision of West Cumbria as Britain’s ‘Energy Coast’ at a summit in June attended by a Cumbria Partners delegation that included the two MPs and representatives
of local authorities and public sector agencies. Ministers described the masterplan as “impressive and coherent”. The plan is aimed at creating an asset, skills, and opportunity-rich environment buoyant and welcoming enough to attract the new businesses, advanced nuclear and
Sylvan setting – tasteful landscaping has made West Lakes a flagship development
environmental technologies and new investors required to energise an underperforming West Cumbrian economy. It identifies 29 actions within the three main economic drivers of business and enterprise, skills and research, and connectivity and infrastructure, highlighting six overriding priorities costing £745 million of which the government would contribute £455 million: National Nuclear Laboratory headquarters in West Cumbria (£18 million) New schools (£205 million) New acute services hospital (£310 million) Housing market renewal (£80 million)
Economic regeneration organisation Cumbria Vision has announced the appointment of Roger Liddle as Chairman. In his role, Roger will head the 14-strong Board of Directors gathered from the public and private sectors. Intellectual powerhouse – West Lakes Science and Technology Park is the modern face of West Cumbria
“THE PLAN IS ALL ABOUT OFFERING PARTICULAR SOLUTIONS TO HELP THE GOVERNMENT’S AGENDA IN AREAS SUCH AS ENERGY SECURITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE.” STEWART SWIFT POLICY AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER NWDA
Advanced technology – West Cumbria is a world leader in nuclear ‘know how.’*
Gap funding (£120 million) Road improvements (£30 million) Consultants looked at a do-nothing scenario and concluded from an economic analysis that the economy would start declining in 2010 with the annual Gross Value Added – a measure of prosperity – down by £400 million by 2027. The total integrated package of public and private sector investment through masterplan interventions is estimated at over £1.7 billion with little new money being required immediately. West Lakes Renaissance, the regeneration company set up by the NWDA with a projected ten-year budget of £180 million, would co-ordinate delivery of the action plan. Stewart Swift, Policy and Partnerships Manager at the NWDA, rejects any notion that West Cumbria is simply asking for more handouts. “This plan is all about offering particular solutions to help the government’s agenda in areas such as energy security and climate change,” he says. Nuclear decommissioning and nuclear generation are highlighted in the masterplan as strong business opportunities for local companies. The long-term cost of cleaning up the UK’s civil nuclear sites is put at £80 billion of which £43 billion will be spent in Cumbria.
The plan raises the possibility of using locally stored stocks of depleted uranium and plutonium to fuel two 1.6 GW (e) fourth generation reactors for 60 years. Building these on the Sellafield site could generate inward investment of £20 billion. Success in implementing the masterplan, says Swift, will hinge on advancing programmes already in the government’s intray including building a new hospital and investing in schools and other infrastructure projects. “If we are going to attract more business expertise we have to improve a broad range
of facilities and services such as hospitals, and healthcare, schools, roads, new homes and business space, as well as addressing the skills agenda.” He says there is still a perceived need to continue with public sector gap funding to secure private sector-led development. However in certain places like West Lakes Science and Technology Park there is no longer the need for grant aid because improved rentals are now at levels that will meet developer requirements. For further information: www.westlakesrenaissance.co.uk
Ship shape – an aerial view of the Barrow shipyard
SHIPYARD WINS NEW WORK Barrow has received a major employment boost following news that BAE Systems Submarines Solutions’ shipyard is to share in the construction of two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers costing £3.8 billion. It is anticipated the Aircraft Carrier Alliance will award build contracts in the near future. This will result in significant numbers of extra workers being needed during the build process. One of the key issues facing business and civic leaders is whether the aircraft carriers contract will have any impact on the high
levels of worklessness in the town where up to 6,000 are on incapacity benefit. BAE Systems recently received planning permission for a 22,600 sq metre new build complex, which includes a panel line and assembly hall at Barrow for fabricating large modules for the shipbuilding and nuclear industries. The £66 million project would accommodate between 700-1,000 personnel but a go-ahead for the capital investment hinges on BAE Systems winning grant aid. The plan is to have the complex ready for 2009-10.
*Every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of material or images produced, used or supplied by the NDA. However, the NDA cannot guarantee that the images shown will always be current, accurate or complete and does not warrant or endorse the accuracy or completeness of the images.
PEOPLE AND JOBS
SOUTHPORT TEES UP TO BECOME CLASSIC RESORT
Resort makeover – an impression of the new seafront hotel and Floral Hall extension
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside… and the renaissance of the coastal towns in the Northwest aims to ensure that it stays that way. As the future of coastal towns comes under scrutiny at a two-day English Heritage conference in October, changes are already evident in the diverse resorts along the region’s coastline. Southport, which next year (2008) will have a chance to showcase the town’s appeal when Royal Birkdale hosts The Open Championship, and Lytham St Annes have both set their sights on becoming ‘classic resorts.’ Alan Ryan, Senior Development Manager in Merseyside and Lancashire for the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), which has invested almost £86 million in its coastal towns since 2002, says:
Shoppers paradise – Wayfarers Arcade, Lord Street
“We are working with the local authority to create a classic resort. “Rather than concentrating on buckets and spades, we want to create a high quality destination with excellent shops, restaurants and hotels, focused on the town’s famous Lord Street area.” Work is well underway on the transformation of Lord Street with improved access and lighting and the restoration of its gardens to their original Edwardian designs. On the seafront, building has started on a £20 million scheme by Neptune Developments to include a four-star hotel, casino and an extension to the nearby Floral Hall conference centre. There will also be a new public plaza, bars and restaurants.
INVESTOR CONFIDENCE The town, described in the NWDA’s ‘New Vision’ coastal resort strategy as “the jewel in the regional crown”, has already seen a steady increase in all-year-round visitor numbers over the last five years. Stefan Jankowski, Manager of Southport Partnership, says: “ We define a classic resort as a place which is the very best of its type, offering high quality public spaces, facilities and services. “All that takes time and although we’re aiming to have many of our improvements completed before The Open, we are planning Southport for the next 50 to 100 years.” After millions of pounds of public sector support, he says private investors are now
showing confidence in Southport. Building work has started on a five-star boutique hotel on Lord Street, with plans for two more hotels in the pipeline. The council is now seeking a lead developer for its 40-acre site of the former Pleasureland at the southern gateway to the town. James Berresford, the NWDA’s Director of Tourism, says: “We are happy to support the work which is going ahead in many of our coastal resorts including Blackpool and Lytham.” In Morecambe, award-winning developers and regeneration specialists Urban Splash are renovating the town’s Art Deco Midland Hotel, due to re-open in 2008. The adjoining ten-acre seafront site is also being developed with live, work and play units and a masterplan for the denselypopulated West End area of the town is being prepared by architects appointed by the NWDA, English Partnerships and Lancaster City Council. English Heritage is publishing England’s Seaside Resorts, the result of a five-year study by architectural investigators Allan Brodie and Gary Winter, to coincide with the October conference “Seaside Heritage, colour past, bright future” which is being held in Hastings. For further information: www.english-heritage.org.uk/seasideheritage www.sefton.gov.uk
Aiming high – Prince Charles enjoys a game of darts in The Old Crown
MORE HELP FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES When Prince Charles enjoyed a pint at The Old Crown at Hesket Newmarket in Cumbria earlier this year, he gave the Royal seal of approval to Britain’s first co-operatively owned pub. It is an excellent example of HRH’s The Pub is The Hub initiative launched back in 2001 to promote the improvement of pubs in rural communities. The pub, in a village between Penrith and Carlisle, was also chosen by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) for the May launch of its Strengthening Rural Communities across the North West programme in which it is investing £825,000. David Hunter, the Agency’s Head of Rural Affairs, said: “The Old Crown is the perfect example of a successful co-operative, one that really captures the community spirit.” The pub, which was bought by a cooperative of 125 customers in August 2003, is now home to a small library and internet café, provides a cashback service, sells locally produced videos and booklets and Community spirit – 125 customers united to buy the village pub
offers meeting rooms – one of which is home to a well-subscribed evening class teaching philosophy. Julian Ross, freelance translator and Chairman of the co-operative management committee, says: “The idea of locals buying their village pub has a romantic appeal but it must also make commercial sense.”
ENTERPRISE CULTURE Now a group of people are considering following a similar path to buy the village shop. The new Northwest-wide programme aims to support other rural communities who have their own ideas for improving rural services and benefiting local people. Rural areas – where 40% of the region’s businesses and around 25% of the population are based – already make a significant contribution to the overall economy, says David Hunter. “This is not an impossible challenge because there is an enterprise culture in many rural communities,” he said. “But we
“THE OLD CROWN IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL CO-OPERATIVE, ONE THAT REALLY CAPTURES THE COMMUNITY SPIRIT.” DAVID HUNTER HEAD OF RURAL AFFAIRS NWDA
recognise there are many different needs and no single solution. We know that social enterprise can address some of the problems and we hope that by offering financial support, it will encourage communities to take a first step.” Phase One involved a mapping exercise which identified around 350 communities, with a population size of between 250 and 10,000, which could take advantage of the programme, although initiatives put forward by smaller-sized communities will be considered on their merits. Small towns and villages are invited to apply for funding for a specific project which can include a community-owned shop or pub, care facilities, village hall development, provision of IT or broadband services. Applications are then assessed by a panel including representatives of the NWDA, The Pub is The Hub, the North West Rural Affairs Forum and the Plunkett Foundation, which is managing the project with the North West Rural Community Councils. The NWDA is hoping to support a total of around 80 projects, 40 from each Fund, over two years, with progress monitored on a quarterly basis. For further information: www.ruralcommunityfund.org.uk
PEOPLE AND JOBS
GREEN LIGHT FOR MEDIA CITY DEVELOPMENT Construction teams have moved on to the mediacity:uk site to begin the three-year task of building an iconic, world-leading complex that will help to fuel the revolution taking place in the new media and broadcast industries. The £300 million Peel Holdings development will provide a creative, technology and training rich environment for the five BBC departments that will relocate to Salford Quays in 2010-11. It is also expected to act as a magnet for scores of smaller media, technology and TV enterprises. BBC Director General Mark Thompson joined 200 guests in June to celebrate the signing of contracts that will turn the mediacity:uk site into a dynamic, internationally significant centre for convergent media production. The ceremony was held at The Pie Factory, a former food manufacturing plant that has been transformed into a sound-stage complex for a wide spectrum of independent production and support companies. The BBC is planning to relocate 1,500 London-based jobs to Salford Quays. Departments moving include BBC Sport, Children’s BBC, BBC Radio Five Live, Five Live Extra and Research and Development. An estimated 800 BBC staff currently working in Manchester will also transfer to the Quays.
Mark Thompson said the new BBC Trust was fully behind the project. “mediacity:uk is a brilliant idea and potentially one of the most exciting media projects in the world.” Programming made at the new complex, he said, should be seen as content for the whole world. “The proposition of what the BBC could do here, the numbers of people and departments involved and the scale of operations is, if anything, slightly bigger than the vision we had over three years ago and I think over the next four years it is going to grow further.”
IMPROVED ACCESS More detail has emerged of the developments and infrastructure going on to the site. Landowners Peel Holdings will provide three landmark 100,000 sq ft office buildings for the BBC with the first ready by October 2010. The first phase scheme covering 52 acres of the total 200-acre former dockland site will also include a 20,000 sq ft studio block with flexible production and audience facilities, a hotel and some speculative office space. It will contain a number of stunning design features including a public piazza nearly twice as big as Trafalgar Square, floating performance platforms and a glass colonnade that will double as a digital screen. Improving access is a key element of the
development package and a new section of road will be built along the edge of the Manchester Ship Canal. The developers and other funding partners are also building a 350-metre long Metrolink spur to deliver commuters and visitors into the heart of the complex. Ed Burrows, Property Director of Peel Media, said the development would be aimed at other broadcasters and people in the digital media field. “There is a much closer connection between the digital media and traditional broadcasters and we will exploit that.” A strategy was being developed to market the site internationally now that the anchor tenant had been confirmed. “We are developing a whole creative community and this may be
PIE FACTORY REINVENTS ITSELF
Iconic landscape – mediacity:uk will have a number of stunning design features
attractive to companies like computer games organisations,” he explained. Peel is one of four main project partners. The others are the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Salford City Council and Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company (URC). The Northern Way, a vehicle set up by the Northern RDAs to speed economic growth across the three regions, is investing £9 million in a Media Enterprise Centre at mediacity:uk connecting it to other centres across the north by way of a high-speed telecoms network. Other major initiatives are underway to tap into the training, job, enterprise and knowledge transfer opportunities generated by media:city.uk. The project will provide employment for up an estimated 15,500 people and 1,500 trainee posts per year. Salford University is exploring integrating its Faculty of Arts, Media and Social Sciences within mediacity:uk while Salford City Council is working to develop a pipeline of people from a young age through to adulthood to take advantage of the opportunities offered. “It’s not just about putting shiny new buildings on to the Quays,” explained Cath Inchbold, the city’s Assistant Director of Regeneration
Strategy. “Salford people need to feel it’s doing something for them so we are making as many connections as possible with the project so media companies can identify new talent whether it’s at the Salford Film Festival or within schools.”
MEDIA ACADEMY The council is addressing the issue on a number of fronts from lifestyle marketing –“debunking myths that BBC staff in London might have of Salford” – to locating a new academy at the entrance to the complex to provide a seedbed of talent and enterprise. Sponsored by OASIS, the 11-18 academy is a key element in Salford’s £150 million Building Schools for the Future programme. Due to open by 2011, it will specialise in media and entrepreneurship. Two-year advanced apprenticeships are also being developed in collaboration with the BBC with the first intake of 20 due to start in September. “We need to take a broad view and bring in people at all levels so the BBC can diversify its workforce,” added Inchbold. “It’s not just about writers and producers, but engineers, accountants and even people to make sandwiches.” For further information: www.mediacityuk.co.uk www.centralsalford.com
Production powerhouse – the proposed studio block
A dozen small production and TV service companies have shown early faith in the mediacity:uk concept by relocating their operations to The Pie Factory, a former food plant, which has been refitted as a sound-stage complex. Two major BBC films were under way within weeks of the 100,000 sq ft Salford Quays studio and office facility opening in February and production crews have shot a number of commercials there. Paul Abbott’s Tightrope Films joined the rush to put down roots there, along with a TV service company, Just Shoots, two castings agencies, an event staging company and other enterprises. “It’s just taken off and we’re full up until we can find some more space,” reports Chief Executive Andy Sumner who is celebrating another coup by signing up BBC Outside Broadcasts as a tenant. He describes the Pie Factory as “the first green shoots” of mediacity:uk. The complex boasts warehouse size production and post-production spaces and will be the only major media centre on the site until the first BBC buildings are completed in 2010-11. Up to 500 people can be working on production shoots at any one time. Situated near Broadway Metrolink, the project was “green lit” by John Whittaker, Chairman of mediacity:uk developers Peel Holdings in September last year, nine months before the BBC Trust gave the go-ahead for the BBC move. Ed Burrows, Property Director of Peel Media Ltd, says The Pie Factory is “a useful proving ground for reassuring people that they are not going to a business park in the middle of nowhere.”
Hive of activity – inside the Pie Factory
INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS Newlands, the joint NWDA and Forestry Commission programme to develop multi-purpose community woodlands on 900 hectares of brownfield land is receive a further investment of £36 million on top of the £23 million already committed to the project. Work to restore and renovate the 135 year-old Pugin-designed Gorton Monastery, Manchester, has been completed. The £6 million communityled project has seen the Grade II listed building converted into a cultural centre for East Manchester. Over 20 companies have located to Liverpool Science Park in the 12 months since the first building, the 36,000 sq ft Innovation Centre (LINK), was completed. Work is to start on a second landmark building that will provide space and service for young science and technology businesses. Environmental improvements to business parks at Portland Basin, Tameside, and Winsford Industrial Estate carried out by Groundwork have brought new jobs and better productivity, according to a study by the Centre for Local Strategies (CLES). Rail journey times between Liverpool and Manchester will be reduced by 40 minutes and fast services between Manchester and Leeds cut to 43 minutes as part of Network Rail’s plans to tackle bottlenecks affecting the region by 2014. Other improvements include provision of more carriages and refurbishment of Bolton and Chester stations. West Lakes Renaissance has been awarded £8 million by the NWDA towards infrastructure and site preparation for Ramsden Business Park, the first step in the development of the 23 ha (60-acre) Barrow Waterfront Business Park.
Bridge to the future – a new footbridge is planned across the River Weaver at Northwich
GIVING NATURE A HELPING HAND Reclaiming the vast lime beds that were once so important to the chemical industry is central to a new land regeneration programme that is taking place across Cheshire, mainly in the Weaver Valley. REVIVE is an ambitious £17.3 million programme funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) aimed at restoring 170 hectares of former industrial land to green landscape uses. Richard Tracey, the Agency’s Land Regeneration Manager, says the aim of REVIVE is to transform this large stock of disused land into an environmental asset that contributes to the improvement of the region's image, acting as a lever for inward investment, as well as enhancing the quality of life for local people. While many derelict sites in Cheshire have already been reclaimed to conventional 'hard end' economic uses, a significant number of sites can’t be regenerated in this way, explains Tracey. “Because we are dealing with legacy sites from the chemical industry, there may be a requirement to do more investigations and risk assessments in order to make them safe for public access,” he says.
CHEMICAL LEGACY The NWDA will be working in partnership with Cheshire Council County at a number of key sites. In Crewe the emphasis will be on greening railway sidings, screening eyesores and generally improving the image of the area for visitors arriving in the region by train. Similar work will take place near Stanlow by the M53, while in Chester work will involve transforming disused railway tracks into new multi-user routes for local people. But it is the legacy of the chemical industry
that dominates REVIVE, particularly sites in Warrington and around the Weaver Valley. “We have a number of lime beds which are built up from the surrounding land to form large bunded lagoons,” explains Gareth Ellis, Land Regeneration Team Manager at Cheshire County Council. As the chemical industry has refined its processes, the lime beds have become redundant. However, the alkaline waste has proved attractive to some species of plants and insects, such as the fragrant orchid and dingy skipper butterfly, which are not normally found in Cheshire’s more acidic conditions. “The older beds can be ecologically interesting, so the process of reclamation will involve working with nature to enhance their potential, while also providing public access for informal recreation,” he adds. For an exemplar of what can be achieved, the council need look no further than the work they carried at Ashton’s and Neumann’s Flashes in the Northwich Community Woodlands, following Agency investment. Just under two years ago they were vast expanses of alkaline paste but with sensitive reclamation they have been transformed into a superb natural habitat and popular recreation area. REVIVE also neatly dovetails with Newlands, the region’s largest land regeneration programme, and ensures that all the Northwest’s sub-regions now have their own soft end land use reclamation programmes.
For further information: Richard Tracey tel: 01925 400100 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CRUISE LINERS RETURN TO LIVERPOOL
Grand farewell – the QEII on a final visit to Liverpool before sailing off into retirement in Dubai
After an absence of over 30 years, the world’s great cruise ships will once again be able to berth at Liverpool’s Pier Head, thanks to the opening of a new multimillion pound cruise liner berthing facility. The £19 million project, funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Mersey Waterfront Regional Park, the City Focus Single Regeneration Budget and the European Regional Development Fund, will help ensure that Liverpool becomes a major player in the burgeoning cruise market. The September opening coincided with a 40th birthday visit by the QEII and a total of 21 cruise ships will make a call at Liverpool during 2007-08. Liverpool City Council will own the berth with cruise manager Angie Redhead responsible for marketing the city to the International Cruise Companies as well as ensuring passengers have a world-class experience when exploring the city and the Northwest. “Cruise ships are now so accessible to everybody,” she explains. “They cater for all social groups and incomes, and the growth of the cruise industry is the fastest in the whole of the tourism and leisure market. “It’s phenomenal how many new ships are being built… and these are ships that are carrying up to 3,000 passengers at a time.” Crucially, at 350m long, the berth has been designed to accommodate these new super ships. “The logistics of where ships
can now actually berth is becoming an issue,” continues Redhead. “There are only so many ports that can accommodate them and Liverpool is one.” The return of the liners is also set to bring a tourism boom to the city. More than 25,000 cruise passengers are already confirmed over the next 18 months, and they are set to bring in around £2 million of extra spending to the city. The facility is also creating 160 jobs. The return of the cruise liners comes at the same time as skills and training in the Mersey’s maritime industries have received a significant boost. Two of Merseyside’s leading maritime organisations, the skills-focused Laird Foundation and the business-orientated Mersey Maritime, have merged to form the Mersey Maritime Group.
Chief Executive Jim Teasdale says that the sector currently brings in some £2.5 billion a year to the local economy and employs over 26,000 people. The new group will help to address skills gaps that could affect the long-term growth of the sector. “There is actually more cargo on the river now than at any time in its history – and the volumes are continuing to grow, all of which is very positive for our sector and for the city,” explains Teasdale. “The new cruise liner terminal will help to bring about greater public awareness of the river’s significance, and very obvious benefits to the city’s economy in terms of tourism and jobs.” For further information: www.cruiseliverpool.com
Queen of the seas – the QEII berthed at Liverpool’s new cruise liner facility
DESIGN REVIEWS Design concepts for major new schemes in the Northwest are now under expert scrutiny by a regional Design Review Panel, which has already assessed its first 12 projects including an observatory tower, a bridge, village centre and a business park. The Panel, which expects to review at least 80 projects during its two-year pilot period, aims to improve the design quality of new significant schemes by offering expert advice to architects, developers and planners at an early stage. Made up of over 35 professionals drawn from a variety of relevant disciplines, the Panel will meet 10 times a year at different venues across the region. “Ensuring the right design in the built environment is one of the most important factors in regeneration,” says landscaper architect Tom Lonsdale, Chair of the new body. “The Panel offers constructive support and guidance to developers and planning authorities bringing schemes forward. Our aspiration is to create attractive places where people want to live and work and ensure that these places are truly sustainable for future generations.”
“THE AIM OF THE PANEL IS TO PROVIDE PEER REVIEW OF PROJECTS AT AN EARLY STAGE BEFORE A PLANNING APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED.”
PHIL BARTON DIRECTOR RENEW NORTHWEST
Symbol of regeneration – an idea of how the planned Merseyside Observatory might look
FOR LANDMARK SCHEMES Fun time – design advice was sought on a new play area at Kirkby
Lonsdale is a member of the national Design Review Panel set up in 1999 by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), which has since reviewed over 3,700 schemes, including over 400 in 2007. The idea of regional panels is to extend and complement the national programme. Five members of the Northwest panel considered a diverse collection of schemes at its first meeting Ulverston in May. On the agenda was the plan for a new Mersey Observatory, to replace the existing Crosby Radar Tower, which a feasibility study earlier this year concluded was unsuitable for development as a visitor attraction. Walter Menzies, Chief Executive of the Mersey Basin Campaign, said: “This is a very exciting and ambitious project which falls within the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park.
LANDMARK PROJECTS “The Tower is in a unique position to give a 360 degree view across to the Welsh hills, the Pier Head, into Liverpool’s working port, showing the river, the estuary, shipping, wildlife. We know from research that tall towers across the world are very popular – people are attracted to them,” Plans for the Observatory are still at an early stage but it’s thought it could become a major tourist attraction for visitors, including those arriving by ship at the city’s new cruise liner facility. The Design Review Panel’s report was “very constructive”, says Menzies. “They gave us an interesting set of insights and it was very useful to be provoked in that way. I think the process is helpful, particularly for ambitious projects.” At its first meeting the Panel also reviewed a new bridge over the River Weaver at Northwich, close to the present bridge which was closed three years ago, and a
housing development and business park, both in Cumbria. The second meeting in July at Crewe brought their expertise to bear on plans to create a new village centre, green space and play area at the Tower Hill estate, Kirkby, Knowsley on Merseyside. The Northwest Design Review Panel is part of the Places Matter! Programme led by the Regional Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Communities, RENEW Northwest, with the support of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), CABE and the regional branch of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) “The aim of the Panel is to provide peer review of projects at an early stage, before a planning application is submitted,” explains RENEW Northwest Director Phil Barton. “That will give time for the Panel’s informed expert view on the quality of the proposals, and its suggestions as to how they may be improved, to be considered by the project proposers at a stage where revisions will cost little and will not hold up the statutory planning process.
“We also hope that the Panel’s comments will be reported to any future planning committee along with the planning officer’s comments.” The aim is to raise the quality of the design of landmark projects and increase the regional capacity to assess such schemes, which can then be adjusted and improved. “We encourage anyone to approach us as early as possible,” said Barton. “Early feedback suggests that the regional design review is already having an impact.” As well as considering design, the panel is hoping to use the process progressively to look at the environmental impact – the carbon footprint – of any development. Places Matter! has a number of complementary strands including offering expert advice to public and private sector clients and developers on new schemes and providing research findings on the economic value of good design. It also includes a schools’ education programme, a support and training network and a public realm good practice guide. For further information: www.renew.co.uk/placesmatter
DRIVING UP ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS A new Sustainable Standards for Buildings policy has been introduced by the NWDA to address the environmental impact of significant new building schemes in the region. In line with government strategy on climate change and the sustainable use of resources, the new policy, approved in May, sets out a clear vision for 2020 with three headline targets for new buildings:
Star grading - new build schemes will have to meet clear standards
zero net carbon, zero net waste and zero net water. Between now and then, a progressive ‘pathway’, which includes a star grading system, will apply to all new buildings in which the Agency invests.
KNOCK-ON EFFECT Mark Atherton, the NWDA’s Head of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, believes this approach is more sensible than insisting on “practically unachievable targets.” He says: “We are the first RDA to include such stringent conditions in our buildings policy. “In the medium term we hope to drive up the standards of construction, which we expect to have a knock-on effect on the environmental technologies sector, as it becomes more involved in sustainable development.” He expects the policy to assist the region’s drive towards a low carbon economy, while acting as an exemplar to developers and local authorities, by demonstrating what can be achieved.
QUALITY OF LIFE NEWS Transformation work on the 290-year old Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool, has reached the topping out stage. The £12.5 million project, part-funded by the NWDA, involves the addition of a new arts wing, four new galleries, a 200-seat performance space and complete restoration of the building and garden. Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 2008 initiative is expected to boost the county’s visitor economy by an estimated £15 million. The NWDA has approved funding support of £750,000 for the project, which is designed to complement Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture. Sculptor Richard Wilson’s stunning new commission for Liverpool’s Year as European Capital of Culture, Turning the Place Over, has been launched. The work consists of an eight metre diameter ovoid cut from the façade of Cross Keys House, Moorfields which is made to oscillate in three dimensions. Cumbria Tourism has notched up £10 million in accommodation bookings for the county’s hotels, B&Bs and self catering businesses since it introduced its ‘golakes’ website four years ago. A survey has revealed that 31% of visitors book their visit on the internet. Burnley’s Singing Ringing Tree artwork by Tonkin Liu, one of a series of iconic 21st century landmarks across East Lancashire, has won a RIBA award for architectural excellence. The project is part of the visionary Panopticons initiative funded by the NWDA and the Lancashire Economic Partnership. Manchester raised its international visitor profile in October by hosting the 52nd convention of the Society of American Travel Writers, the world’s largest gathering of professional travel journalists. The 500 delegates attending the four-day event heard a keynote speech from anglophile writer Bill Bryson.
TURNER PRIZE RAISES CULTURAL TEMPERATURE The international art spotlight falls on Liverpool this autumn as the thought provoking Turner Prize leaves London for the first time in 23 years to support the city’s European Capital of Culture programme. Four leading British artists are vying for the iconic £25,000 prize, regarded by many as a beacon of contemporary, cutting edge art. It’s equally famous for stirring up scandal and notoriety for the type of art selected. Tate Liverpool is spending £500,000 staging an event that Director Christoph Grunenberg, who chairs this year’s jury, describes as “a fantastic curtain-raiser” for Capital of Culture. An exhibition of the shortlisted artists will run from October 19 2007, to January 13 2008, with the winner being announced at the Albert Dock Gallery on December 3 during a live broadcast by Channel 4. There will be a retrospective Turner Prize exhibition running at the same time in London. Tate Liverpool is one of the principal artistic drivers of the 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations and is also planning another tour de force next year by staging this country’s first Gustav Klimt exhibition.
FREE ADMISSION The attention-grabbing Turner Prize has been surrounded by controversy since it was established in 1984, generating a mixed, often volatile, reaction from art lovers, critics and politicians. “That’s partly been its attraction, stimulating debate,” argues Grunenberg. “That debate happens on many different
Amnesiac Shrine – Mike Nelson transports viewers to imaginary worlds
levels, sometimes its pure outrage but it makes people think about contemporary art and the different forms it can take.” “You never know what will happen, but it’s not our intention to artificially create a scandal. It’s important that it’s a good exhibition, that the best work is shown and taken seriously.” This year’s nominees are Mark Wallinger for his Tate Britain installation, State Britain, Glasgow artist Nathan Colley, who makes installations frequently featuring architectural structures, Zarina Bhimji, a Ugandan Asian photographer and film maker and Mike Nelson, an installation artist. To make it as accessible as possible, Tate is offering free admission to the exhibition, thanks to the sponsorship support of the Arts Council England, Liverpool Culture Company, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Milligan and Tate Members. An important contributor to the Northwest cultural economy, Tate Liverpool generated £15 million in visitor spend in 2006, according to studies carried out by The Mersey Partnership. “Staging the UK’s most prestigious art exhibition and awards ceremony here will be instrumental in encouraging more visitors to come and experience the region’s outstanding artistic offering,” declares Peter Mearns, the NWDA’s Executive Director of Marketing. Of the gallery’s 600,000 visitors about 135,000 were specifically attracted to visit Merseyside by the Tate. Christoph Grunenberg believes the Turner
No border crossing – Zarina Bhimji engages with universal human emotions
Prize, the Klimt exhibition and the now established Liverpool Biennial – the 2008 festival is the fifth – will help to correct an imbalance in art provision between London and the regions. He says: “There is no reason why the cultural offering here in the Northwest should not be as good as that in London. Sometimes the problem has been the lack of courage and ambition. What we do here is as good as in London.”
SPECIAL SHOW Tate Liverpool’s role as the cultural standard bearer for regional cities in general will be reinforced when it stages the exhibition, Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Living in Vienna 1900 (April 21August 27 2008), an atmospheric recreation of elegant living in the Austrian capital. The Albert Dock Gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary next year and is planning a big weekend of events in May including a focus on the impact it has had on the regeneration of Liverpool. Tate Liverpool has invested in better facilities to cope with an anticipated increase in visitors in 2008, including reconfiguring the foyer area, improving cloakroom and hospitality spaces and re-developing the gallery shop. Businesses like Liverpool law firm DLA Piper, sponsors of the Tate Collection series, and organisations such the NWDA have become “critically important partners” in helping Tate Liverpool fund its exhibition, display, education and outreach activities, according to Executive Director Andrea Nixon. “We’re ever ambitious to carry on testing the range and quality of what we do but we need to raise more of our own resources to do so.” This year the gallery will be raising over £1 million from non Tate sources to support its various programmes. For further information: www. tate.org.uk/ turnerprize
State Britain – Mark Wallinger’s work communicates unpalatable political truth
CABBIES SWOT UP ON MODERN ART
Cultural magnet – Tate Liverpool is a major visitor attraction
Camouflage Church, Santiago de Compostela – Nathan Colley’s installations frequently feature architectural structures
Step into a Liverpool taxi in the next few months and there’s a fair chance you’ll end up with a driver as well versed about contemporary British art as he is about Liverpool FC’s successes. Anxious to reach the widest possible audience, Tate Liverpool has enlisted the help of some 20 local cabbies in a unique cultural experiment to promote the Turner Prize exhibition to out of town visitors, business people and shoppers. The Albert Dock Gallery has devised an introductory course on modern art to help the taxi drivers understand more about it. “We want to give them confidence so that when passengers ask about the Turner Prize they can respond informatively or can initiate conversation,” explains Executive Director Andrea Nixon. Tate will build a video record of dialogue between drivers and willing passengers, which can be played to Tate visitors.
QUALITY OF LIFE
MEASURES TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE The Northwest is forcing the pace on tackling climate change by introducing a wide range of practical and in some case novel solutions to move the region to a low carbon economy by 2020. One of the initiatives being considered will combine a regional, offsetting-style emissions scheme with a carbon-reduction fund available to both consumers and businesses. It would have four main strands – developing a region-wide access to a C02 Pledge reduction programme, an incentivised prize challenge for groups and communities and a ‘payback’ lottery for unavoidable emissions that can’t be cut, which will result in a ‘Northwest Climate Change Fund.’ It is one of a number of projects that will potentially benefit from a £23.5 million portfolio of investment being made over three years by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to address the causes and effects of climate change. The Agency used World Environment Day on June 5 to announce that approval for the funding had been granted in principle. The investment will be used to implement the continued delivery of the Northwest Climate Change Action Plan. “The threats of climate change are serious so our response must be equally substantial and serious,” stressed Steven Broomhead, the NWDA’s Chief Executive. “The increasing need for environmental measures such as efficient energy waste management, renewable energy production and adapting to the likely effects of climate change is paramount. Our mission is to make England’s Northwest the leading
region on tackling climate change.” The Northwest Climate Change Partnership (NWCCP), chaired by Professor Nick Jenkins of the North West Energy Council, has been charged with overseeing implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan ‘Rising to the Challenge.’ It is proposed that £6 million of the NWDA’s investment package will be used to fund a fully regional, comprehensive environmental business support programme linked into Business Link Northwest and delivered by the ENWORKS partnership.
ECONOMIC GAIN The project has a dual aim – to boost business competitiveness and productivity by improved resource efficiency and reducing exposure to environmental risk, and to reduce carbon emissions, water and material usage and divert waste from landfill. There was further proof of the region’s commitment on tackling climate change in August when the NWCCP published the results of a perceptions study, a key stage in its campaign to change attitudes on the subject. The findings show clear evidence that people and businesses are taking action to tackle climate change. Over 68% of those questioned – 550 individuals and businesses were surveyed – believe they are doing something to help slow down climate change but are aware that there is more they can do. Many of the businesses questioned were
Weather warning – the threats from climate change are serious
optimistic about climate change, recognising the potential for economic gain through tackling the issue. However, the study also revealed that whilst climate change is an important issue their level of concern about it reduced over the longer term. Mark Atherton, Head of Environmental Sustainability at the NWDA, described the study as “a key baseline” for the NWCCP in helping to measure improved awareness of the causes of climate change and the actions needed to address them. “The challenge now is to build on this and ensure that the Northwest is equipped to tackle the environmental challenges ahead and take advantages of the opportunities a changing climate presents.” For further information; www.climatechangenorthwest.com
STUDY FINDINGS The climate change perceptions study identified four categories of people within the Northwest. 20% of people are doing nothing to address climate change 40% of people are thinking about doing something but haven’t yet done anything 40% of people are doing something but could do more 20% of people believe they are doing all they can to address climate change
Making a splash – 650 of the world-best short-course swimmers will compete in Manchester
SPORTING ELITE HEAD FOR MANCHESTER Manchester will be buzzing with passion and excitement next year as the city hosts a seven-month, multi-million pound fiesta of international sport that will draw in top athletes from all over the world. Dubbed Manchester World Sport 08, five major events will be staged between March and October generating an estimated £16.6 million for the region’s visitor economy and reinforcing Manchester’s prestige as a showcase venue for world-class sport. Civic leaders and event organisers are promising 2008 will be a vintage year of sporting spectaculars that will include the World Short-Course Swimming Championships, the World Track Cycling Championships, the UEFA Cup Final and the World Squash Championships. Manchester City Council has worked with a number of organisations, including the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), to capture these high-profile events. They are expected to lead to 180,000 bed night bookings. Eamonn O’Rourke, the Council’s Head of Leisure, said it was the single biggest year of global sport in Manchester since the XVII Commonwealth Games in 2002. “We are now developing a major sports portfolio that will deliver significant economic, social and cultural benefits to Manchester while profiling the city and the region to an international audience. “Furthermore we are providing opportunities for home athletes to make the best possible preparations for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing next year and in London in 2012.”
The action-packed series of events in 2008 will begin with the Velodrome, the National Cycling Centre, hosting the UCI Track Cycling World Championships (March 26-30). Competing will be 300 of world’s best racing cyclists. Over 650 of the world’s best short-course swimmers from 120 countries will converge on Manchester the following month to take part in the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) (April 9-13). Two huge temporary pools will be built at the MEN arena for the five-day event, the first of its kind to be held in the UK.
BIGGEST PRIZE On May 14 Manchester will join an elite band of cities who have staged the UEFA Cup. The final of the 2008 tournament, which involves 80 clubs across Europe, will be played at the City of Manchester Stadium and televised live in over 200 countries. Later that month the BUPA Great Manchester Run (May 18) will take place in the city centre. Recognised as one of the world’s great road running competitions, the 10 km race will also provide spectators with a chance to cheer on an all-star cast of celebrities and thousands of charity and fun runners. Manchester’s will again be in the international spotlight when it becomes the first UK city to host the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships 2008 at the National Squash Centre at Sportcity (October 12-19). It is recognised as the most important event in the world squash calendar and the biggest prize on the professional circuit.
The main draw for the tournament will see 64 players compete in the Men’s Championship and 32 players in the Women’s Championship with representation from 40 countries. Manchester will also stage the qualifying rounds immediately preceding the main competition. The NWDA is supporting Manchester World Sport 08 as part of its contribution to the Regional Major Events Strategy. In particular, the NWDA is a leading sponsor of the world swimming championships and the world squash championships. Over the last three years events supported by the Agency have resulted in 1.7 million visitors, 200,000 bed nights and a £58 million contribution to the regional economy as well as 36 hours of national television coverage. For further information: www.manchestersporttalks.com
All star cast – celebrities plan to compete in the BUPA Great Manchester Run
EDMUNDSEN RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS CHAMPION
PEOPLE IN THE REGION HEALTH EXPERT IN DIVERSITY ROLE
NEW UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL VICE-CHANCELLOR Distinguished administrator Sir Howard Newby, a former Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), has been appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. He succeeds Professor Drummond Bone who retires in September 2008. He is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol having also been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton from 1994 to 2000. Sir Howard has held a number of distinguished posts within and outside higher education. He is a former Chairman and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and a former President of Universities UK. A professor of Sociology, he is an expert on rural England and spent eight years as a Rural Development Commissioner. Sir Howard was made a CBE in 1995 for his services to social science and was knighted in 2000 for his services to higher education.
Evelyn Asante-Mensah has joined the NWDA as Head of Equality and Diversity. She was previously a Strategic Adviser for Government Office for the North West (GONW) on secondment from the Black Health Agency (BHA). Her role will be to ensure that all the NWDA’s investment and programmes benefit the whole region and that all groups at risk of disadvantage are fully engaged in the Agency’s strategy and programme development. Evelyn worked for BHA for 13 years at regional and national levels spending seven years as Chief Executive. She holds a number of public appointments including Chair of Manchester Primary Care Trust and membership of the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Health is Wealth Commission.
Dave Edmundsen, Chief Executive of Burnley Football Club and Chairman of the Community Sports Trust, is the Prince of Wales’ 2007 Ambassador on Corporate Responsibility in the Northwest. He succeeds Bryan Gray, Chair of the NWDA who held the award in 2006. The award was announced at a Business in the Community Awards for Excellence dinner in Manchester in June. Dave was selected for his influential role as a catalyst for social and economic within Northwest Communities. Already an ambassador for the BetterBurnley Campaign, he is also a member of the Prince of Wales’ Seeing is Believing Alumni. Burnley is seen as an area with huge potential for effective, high impact business community partnerships.
GUARDIAN OF THE COUNTRYSIDE Natural England, the new body set up to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscape and wildlife, has appointed outdoors enthusiast Liz Newton from Stockton Heath, Warrington, as its new Director for the Northwest. She has worked in the environmental field for 25 years and aims to champion recreation and access to natural environments as a preventative public health solution. She was previously Regional Director of the Countryside Commission and has held several national roles including delivery of the Market Towns Initiative, where the NWDA is a key partner.
TOP TMP ROLE FOR LORRAINE Former lawyer and investment banker Lorraine Rogers, currently Chairman of Tranmere Rovers FC, is the new Chief Executive of The Mersey Partnership, which has responsibility for encouraging economic growth, investment and tourism in the sub-region. A specialist in corporate law, she trained with a London-based law firm before working with Barclays de Zoete Wedd and
PROMOTION FOR NICK STORER
later Hambros Bank advising international companies on corporate investments, especially in the financial services sector. She is a prominent figure in the public, business, cultural and sporting life of Merseyside. She is a Trustee of the National Museums Liverpool, Chair of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and was recently appointed to the Board of The Football League for a second term.
Chemical engineering graduate Nick Storer, who has 20 years of experience helping a range of industries reduce their environmental impacts, is the new Chief Executive of Envirolink Northwest, the business support organisation for energy and environmental technologies. During his four years with Envirolink he secured funding for a major expansion of ground breaking work with the region’s waste and recycling sector. He has worked at a senior level in industry and was previously consulting group director with the consulting firm Enviros where he played a lead role in the development of ReMaDe projects across the UK including the Clean Merseyside Centre.
NORTHWEST AUTOMOTIVE AMBASSADOR TO SIT ON REGIONAL ADVISORY GROUP
NEW CREATIVE LEADER FOR LIVERPOOL CULTURE COMPANY Former Mersey Television owner Phil Redmond will lead the cultural programme for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year following a restructuring of the Culture Company Board. The new slimmed down Board, which will be chaired by NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray, has been put in place to ensure that it is able to react more quickly and fast track decisions for the 08 schedule. Phil Redmond has been appointed Deputy Chairman with responsibility for creative direction. Phil, best known for creating three of Britain’s longest running drama programmes, Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks, has a wealth of experience in the cultural sector. He has written extensively for radio, television and stage and is a founder member of the first regional branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in Manchester, a council member
of the Independent Producer’s Association and a former national negotiator for the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. In 1996, Phil was elected as Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and in 1997 he was also appointed Vice Chair of the newly created North West Film Commission and became a Patron of the Commission in July 1999. He was awarded a CBE in June 2004 for ‘services to drama in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Tom Schmidt, of General Motors, has been appointed onto the National Skills Academy’s Regional Advisory Group. Tom is Plant Director of General Motors (GM) in Ellesmere Port and has 28 years of manufacturing experience with the company across the globe. He has been assigned to overseas assignments three times and has managed manufacturing facilities in four GM regions including Latin America and the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America, in addition to Europe. The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing is a central part of the government’s skills strategy. In his role on the Regional Advisory Group, which was established to identify the skills needs of employers and enable the Skills Academy to develop solutions to meet these needs against national standards, Tom will represent the needs of the automotive sector across the Northwest.
EVENT HIGHLIGHTS For further information www.nwda.co.uk/events 19 OCT13 JAN
TURNER PRIZE EXHIBITION OPENS Provincial debut for the world’s most prestigious art prize Tate Liverpool
NORTHWEST FOOD LOVERS FESTIVAL Guaranteed to excite the taste buds Tatton Park, Cheshire
Oscar ceremony – awards for top tourism companies
NORTHWEST TOURISM AWARDS OCT Annual Oscars for the best and brightest in tourism Manchester Central
10TH MANCHESTER FOOD & DRINK OCT FESTIVAL AWARDS Celebrating a decade of decadence Town Hall, Manchester
ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE DEC Famous artists perform in the presence of HM The Queen Liverpool Empire Theatre
TURNER PRIZE AWARDS DEC Gala ceremony to announce the winner Tate Liverpool
KENDAL MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL An extravaganza of films, books, art, photography and more Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal and other venues
CBI BUSINESS AWARDS DEC Honouring the region’s top business performers Midland Hotel, Manchester
THE NEXT BIG THING NOV Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs The Printworks, Manchester
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME AWARDS NOV Inducting new members into an exclusive club Old Trafford, Manchester
THIRD UK-US MANUFACTURING SUMMIT The revolution starts here – workshops, seminars and best practice Old Trafford, Manchester
ART07 AWARDS OCT Rising stars of the region’s creative industries Manchester Town Hall
NWDA ANNUAL CONFERENCE OCT AND AGM Reviewing the region’s economic progress Manchester Central
Liverpool Arena – new multi-purpose venue
OPENING OF LIVERPOOL ARENA AND JAN CONVENTION CENTRE Iconic new venue for business, sport and entertainment Kings Waterfront, Liverpool
Theatre of dreams – venue for Hall of Fame Awards
EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN A weekend of showcase events Various Liverpool venues
GETTING IN TOUCH At the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), we value your views and feedback. Visit www.nwda.co.uk & www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com
KEY CONTACTS STEVEN BROOMHEAD Chief Executive Tel: 01925 400 133 Email: Steven.Broomhead@nwda.co.uk
PATRICK WHITE Executive Director, Policy Tel: 01925 400 274 Email: Patrick.White@nwda.co.uk
IAN HAYTHORNTHWAITE Executive Director, Resources Tel: 01925 400 116 Email: Ian.Haythornthwaite@nwda.co.uk
PETER WHITE Executive Director, Development Tel: 01925 400 299 Email: Peter.White@nwda.co.uk
MARK HUGHES Executive Director, Enterprise and Skills Tel: 01925 400 531 Email: Mark.Hughes@nwda.co.uk
JAMES BERRESFORD Director of Tourism Tel: 01925 400 472 Email: James.Berresford@nwda.co.uk
PETER MEARNS Executive Director, Marketing Tel: 01925 400 212 Email: Peter.Mearns@nwda.co.uk
FIONA MILLS Director of Human Performance Tel: 01925 644 422 Email: Fiona.Mills@nwda.co.uk
HEAD OFFICE The NWDA manages all operations from its Headquarters at:
HEAD OFFICE PO Box 37, Renaissance House, Centre Park, Warrington WA1 1XB Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400 e-mail: email@example.com
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The NWDAâ€™s Executive Team are based at its Headquarters in Warrington.