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315째 THE RDA MAGAZINE FEB 2006 ISSUE 08

Agenda for change Dispelling manufacturing myths Saving the planet Region plugs into low carbon economy Hey, big spender Cheshire targets shopping tourists

KNOWLEDGE MILL Rebirth of East Manchester enterprise


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HIGHLIGHTS

CONTENTS THE THIRD DEGREE 4

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THE RDA MAGAZINE FEB 2006 ISSUE 08

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BUSINESS 6

Knowledge mill opens for business

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Dispelling manufacturing myths

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International trade

KNOWLEDGE MILL OPENS FOR BUSINESS One Central Park, a new economic anchor for North and East Manchester, is being developed through a collaborative venture joining together education with science and enterprise.

Raksha Pattni

10 Science fund rewards bright ideas

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12 Taking the lead on climate change

TAKING THE LEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE Action on climate change is gathering pace with major players across the Northwest joining forces to establish the Northwest as a benchmark for combating global warming.

PEOPLE AND JOBS 14 BBC boost for media zone 15 New equality drive 16 Blueprint for a prosperous future 18 New Arena underway

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SKILLS AND EDUCATION

BLUEPRINT FOR A PROSPEROUS FUTURE The new Regional Economic Strategy is a crucial document for the region and outlines major transformational actions for the years to come.

20 University of Cumbria plan

INFRASTRUCTURE

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

22 Rail investment campaign on track 23 Airport rises to the challenge

ACTING ON CLIMATE CHANGE Over recent months, the issue of climate change has moved to the forefront of the national and international agenda. Businesses and organisations are well aware of the impact that climate change could have on their operations and are making it an issue that is central to their decision-making processes. This is a view shared by the Northwest Regional Development Agency. With the region’s long history as a substantial energy user and a source of technological and commercial innovation, we are ensuring that achieving sustainable development is at the heart of the emerging Regional Economic Strategy (2006 – 2009). The Agency is contributing to the response to climate change in a variety of ways, both in terms of reducing emissions and dealing with the inevitable impacts of climate change resulting from past emissions. We are leading on the development of a Regional Climate Change Action Plan 2006-2009, which demonstrates the positive approach adopted to responding to climate change and highlights the potential opportunities to business. Alongside this, the implementation of the Northwest Energy Strategy focuses on the promotion of energy efficiency and alternative sources.

Last month, the Northwest gained praise from the government as the first English region to take action against global warming when over 40 influential public and private sector organisations signed up to the England’s Northwest Climate Change Charter. This is an important commitment in reducing energy consumption across the region and we hope that many more regional organisations will sign up to the agreement during 2006. The Northwest needs to develop a clear, collective view of the direction we want to go in terms of strategy and delivery on the ground, including influencing, informing and guiding government policy on climate change and energy. I am confident that, as a region, we can demonstrate real progress and become a champion for climate change activity.

QUALITY OF LIFE

OUR VISION: 24 Cheshire woos more visitors 26 Manchester debut as festival city

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.’

315° CONTACTS

Editor Trevor Bates email@trevorbates.fsnet.co.uk NWDA Erica Boardman email: erica.boardman@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400 217 visit www.nwda.co.uk & www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com

Bryan Gray, February 2006


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THE THIRD DEGREE “WE WILL BE REALLY FOCUSING ON THE SKILLS GAPS FROM THE GENERIC ISSUES OF LITERACY AND NUMERACY TO THOSE AFFECTING PARTICULAR SECTORS.” RAKSHA PATTNI REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY

What is the role of BITC in the early 21st century, 24 years after it was founded in the Northwest in 1982? The early business leaders who started BITC based the movement on philanthropic principles, but today the emphasis has shifted. Companies now accept that there is a strong business case for adopting responsible practice which actually impacts on their bottom line. BITC remains as a business catalyst for social change and innovation, continuing to research, but always from the companies’ starting point. It also champions leadership and creativity and provides advice, guidance and examples of best practice to help our members tackle emerging issues. The Northwest is a hugely diverse region. How is BITC assisting different parts of the region and the sectors within it? What is striking about the region is that although 80% of it is rural and only 20% urban, 60% of the Northwest’s population live in the urban areas. Our work has to reflect that. In the two major cities we have the Greater Manchester and Liverpool Cares partnerships, channels though which businesses can support some of the most deprived communities in the region. And as the Northwest has over 25% of the most deprived local authority areas in the

RAKSHA PATTNI Raksha Pattni was appointed Regional Director of Business in the Community (BITC) in the Northwest in November (2005), seven years after joining the organisation as Development Manager. Her first major project – persuading businesses to provide support in one of the region’s deprived areas of Preston received a national BITC award for excellence and was acknowledged as a national example of best practice in neighbourhood renewal by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Raksha came to England with her family from Tanzania when she was 14 and settled in Leicester.

country, that gives us a big mandate to mobilise business resources. In Cumbria our work focuses on pertinent issues such as affordable rural housing, support for market towns, local sourcing and building the capacity of the local community. When the new Regional Economic Strategy (RES) is launched in spring (2006) will BITC have a major role in its delivery? BITC has a very clear fit with the key objectives of the RES – business, regeneration, skills and skill shortages and quality of life. Our main role is to respond to the needs of businesses and to identify how their operations impact on their key stakeholders. Our main vehicle for addressing and targeting these issues will be Responsibility Northwest, a region-wide initiative funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to develop and champion the agenda of responsible business practices. What do you see as the main priorities? We will be really focusing on the skills gaps from the generic issues of literacy and numeracy to those affecting particular sectors. In Manchester only 40% of pupils achieved five or more GCSE A* to C grades in 2003-04, compared to the average for England of 54%. This can contribute to low productivity and staff shortages for business which face the high cost of recruitment. The region’s engineering sector has a huge skills gap which some of our companies, like Scottish Power and United Utilities, are pro-actively seeking to address. They are aiming to create a new generation of young engineers through a programme called Grow Your Future Workforce, funded by the NWDA. How does BITC interface with key corporate players in the region? We believe that to make a difference, to bring about change, requires partnerships – like-minded organisations working together. The NWDA is a member of BITC and we receive tremendous support from them. We work closely with The Prince of Wales’ Prince’s Trust and with his Seeing is Believing Programme which invites business leaders to see for themselves how business can play a role in tackling Britain’s most pressing social issues. The BITC also founded the Northwest Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), which plays an influential role in the region’s development. You have chosen ‘diversity’ as the subject of your annual conference on March 30 – how can the BITC help business to approach the issue? Diversity is one of the top emerging issues for companies, some of whom are leading in this area. Our aim at the conference will be

to raise awareness, demonstrate what it can mean to businesses and to share best practice. Companies need to look at the demographic changes; the ageing population will increase over the next ten years and in just seven years only one third of the UK workforce will be male and under 45. It makes sense for businesses to plan now. Your early career involved work with ethnic minority women in Leicester and later racial equality issues in Preston. Where does BITC stand on addressing racial equality issues? For us, the whole of the diversity agenda is important and race is just one key element. We offer a programme called Race for Opportunity which provides a benchmarking tool to help companies to identify gaps in their racial equality policies and to work with companies who are leading in this area to implement best practice. And what of the relatively small number of women in key positions in the region – what can be done to increase their number? I believe this is more of a national rather than a regional challenge which requires a concerted effort at an organisational and institutional level to make a difference. As the traditional ‘nine to five’ jobs are changing, and women now make up nearly half the workforce – double the number 25 years ago – there needs to be more flexible, family-friendly policies in the workplace to allow women to realise their business and leadership potential. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also a major issue for BITC – in December you held an event asking “Does CSR really matter?” Does it? Of course it does, but different businesses interpret it in different ways, even if they are based in the same sector. We work with them but we do not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. What is important to us is that companies recognise their existing baseline position on CSR and actively commit to improving their impact on society. What are you passionate about outside your career? My family, especially my two sons who are seven and two. Because my husband is English and I think it is important to bring up my children to understand both our cultures, I speak Gujarati to my children at home. I also enjoy the normal activities of walking, gardening and cooking. For further information: email: ronee.gunn@bitc.org.uk tel: 0161 233 7750 www.bitc.org.uk


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BUSINESS NEWS Fiona Mills, a specialist in transformational change and talent management, has been appointed as the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s new Director of HR, Organisational Change and Development. Infolab21, the University of Lancaster’s £15 million centre of excellence in ICT, which has been part-funded by the NWDA, has beaten off competition from the BBC and others to win the British Council for Offices national prize as the “Best Corporate Workplace.” Liberata, one of the UK’s leading providers of outsourced business processes, is establishing a new business centre in Barrow-in-Furness with the help of an £800.000 NWDA grant. The project will create 200 jobs in the town.

KNOWLEDGE MILL OPENS FOR BUSINESS “WE HAVE TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WITH IDEAS TO START UP BUSINESSES AND ANCHOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THIS AREA OVER A LONG PERIOD, SAY 25-50 YEARS” PROFESSOR DAVID AUCKLAND MANAGING DIRECTOR, ONE CENTRAL PARK LTD

India’s largest bank will cement trade and financial ties with the Northwest by opening a base in Manchester in 2006, its first UK branch outside London. The State Bank of India (SIB) joins over 60 other banks in the city, including 20 from overseas. The bank’s move received help and guidance on the move from the NWDA and MIDAS (Manchester’s Investment Agency). Enterprise Plc has established a new £20 million business support centre in the rejuvenated Matchworks in Liverpool with financial assistance from the NWDA. Since moving there the company has won two government contracts work worth £840 million over seven years. Workforce recruitment will rise to 220 by the end of 2006.

Education and training institutions have joined with scientists and enterprise practitioners in a novel collaborative venture that will provide a new economic anchor for the old industrial heartland of North and East Manchester. The opening of One Central Park brings all the facets of business creation together in a single 100,000 sq ft building that will draw on the resources of local universities, a leading Further Education college, industry and incubation specialists. Professor David Auckland, Managing Director of One Central Park Ltd, the company set up to run the science, enterprise and learning campus, describes the £18.5 million

Learning centre – a new approach to skills-based vocational education

centre as a “knowledge mill.” He hopes it will have as profound an impact on the future prosperity of East Manchester as the cotton mill had on Lancashire. “We are bringing together knowledge and knowledgeable people and converting that interaction into new products, services and jobs, just as the cotton mill converted yarn into textiles.”

More e-Government unit posts are being relocated to the Northwest by the Cabinet Office in response to the Lyons Review. The transfer of 30 jobs to a shared service centre at Birchwood, Warrington is expected to deliver longterm efficiency savings. Enterprise hothouse – contemporary office spaces for nurturing new ideas

NEW THINKING Funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the EU, Manchester City Council, the Universities of Manchester and Salford and Manchester College of Arts and Technology (MANCAT),

One Central Park brings fresh thinking to the concept of community regeneration. One of the first fruits of this new approach is Enterprise Direct, an FE version of the successful Master of Enterprise programme pioneered by the Manchester Science Enterprise Centre (MSEC), launched by Professor Auckland four years ago. Open to anyone with a good idea, irrespective of educational attainment, the programme aims to nurture an entrepreneurial culture in local communities by offering enterpriseminded individuals practical support – usually at night-school – to convert their ideas into sustainable businesses. Auckland and his team were inundated with requests to join the scheme and quickly filled the 18 places on the first course. Some of those enrolled have a Higher Education (HE) background, others have no qualifications at all. “We have to encourage people with ideas to start up businesses and anchor economic activity in this area over a long period, say 25-50 years. Big companies come and go but if small ones become part of the community they’ll stay.” The Enterprise Direct partnership between MANCAT and MSEC is just one of several interacting dimensions of enterprise within One Central Park, which forms the nucleus of Central Business Park, one of Europe’s largest business developments. ENTERPRISE LADDER Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is partnering MANCAT in the creation of a New Technology Institute (NTI) whilst Manchester Science Park, Manchester Incubation Ltd and MSEC are combining their efforts to stimulate more business formation. Auckland envisages a ladder of opportunity with individuals dipping a toe in the enterprise waters for 12-18 months within the confines of an FE/HE establishment while holding on to a day-job, then progressing through to the formal incubation process and ultimately to larger Science Park facilities. There are two other strands to One Central Park – a MANCAT Learning Centre for local people and a Research and Graduate Centre, a completely new concept that will act as a bridge between leading-edge academic research and commerce. Tenants began moving into the building in late 2005. MANCAT enrolled 340 part-time HE students in the first few weeks of the satellite campus opening and expects to have 2,000 students using the centre within two years. Degrees will be validated by the University of Manchester and MMU. MANCAT Principal Peter Tavernor said the NTI would try to recreate the old Polytechnic approach of skills-based vocational education based around part-time study with good

quality employment as the end result. “We have received wide support locally for the re-introduction of technician training to East Manchester,” he explained. “We hope it will help to restore the self esteem that people had when the area was a flourishing centre of manufacturing in the 1960s and 70s.” Central Business Park has quickly captured a number of major investments including a new Fujitsu office complex and the £36 million Gateway transport interchange, which opened in November. Covering 36 ha (90 acres) the first phase will provide 131,039 sq m (1.41 million sq ft) of premium office space. Steven Broomhead, the NWDA’s Chief Executive, described the opening of One Central Park as “very important to the region’s agenda of encouraging entrepreneurs and enterprising businesses.” For further information: email: t.venosa@onecentralpark.co.uk tel: 0161 918 6900 www.onecentralpark.co.uk

CENTRAL PARK FACTFILE  PUBLIC SECTOR PARTNERS: The NWDA,

English Partnerships, Manchester City Council and New East Manchester.  PHASE 1: The NWDA has project managed

and led the assembly and preparation of the 38 hectares of Phase 1, representing a public sector investment of over £20 million. In addition to the £11 million invested by the NWDA, funding has also been received from the European Regional Development Fund, English Partnerships and Manchester City Council.  DEVELOPER: Ask: Akeler Developments Ltd,

a 50-50 joint venture combining regional insight with national and international expertise.  SIZE: On completion Central Park will cover

182 ha (450 acres) and offer up to 500,000 sq m (5.38 million sq ft) of commercial floor space.  OCCUPIERS: Fujitsu Services, the European-

centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. Phased occupation of the three buildings began in July and will build up to a 900strong workforce.  ONE CENTRAL PARK: A science, enterprise

and learning partnership project between MANCAT, the Universities of Manchester and Salford and MSEC.  EMPLOYMENT TARGETS: 10,000 jobs created

over the next 10-15 years.


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BUSINESS “IT’S TIME TO EXPLODE SOME OF THE POPULAR MYTHS THAT HAVE BUILT UP AROUND THE SECTOR AND TO CELEBRATE THE MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION IT CONTINUES TO MAKE TO THE ECONOMY.”

Science in action – young visitors to SkillCity learn about interesting jobs

JULIE MADIGAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, THE MANUFACTURING INSTITUTE

DISPELLING MANUFACTURING MYTHS Domestic Product (GDP). The campaign focuses on debunking the negative and persistent mythology surrounding manufacturing with a series of factual case studies that draw on the experiences of successful companies and individuals in the Northwest.

POPULAR MYTHS

Inspirational leader – former UN commander Bob Stewart hands on some career tips at SkillsCity

Business and educational leaders across the region are being urged to communicate a more positive, fact-based image of manufacturing to avoid the sector talking itself into a premature grave. A campaign to project a more dynamic view of the sector has got off to strong start with a launch event at the House of Commons, hosted by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and The Manufacturing Institute. The manufacturing industry is a major wealth generator for the Northwest economy with 18,500 companies and a workforce of half a million contributing £19 billion – nearly 20% of all output – to the region’s Gross

“Manufacturing has talked itself down for too long,” Julie Madigan, the Institute’s Chief Executive, told the Westminster reception. “It’s time to explode some of the popular myths that have built up around the sector and to celebrate the massive contribution it continues to make to the economy.” In its booklet, “The Truth Behind the Myth”, the Institute confronts the idea that “manufacturing is not a creative industry” by quoting the example of Snowbone, a Lancashire-based company, which gained financial backing from the BBC Dragon’s Den programme to design and produce a BMX-type handlebar attachment that clips on to any conventional snowboard making it easy for beginners to keep their balance. Snowbone’s managing director Paddy Ratcliffe and design director Nick Rawcliffe enlisted the help of the Manufacturing Advisory Service in the Northwest (MAS NW) to turn the concept to reality. The Trafford Park-based Institute delivers

MAS through the Regional Centre for Manufacturing Excellence in partnership with the NWDA. In the past three years MAS has helped Northwest manufacturers make productivity and skill improvements worth over £129 million by focusing on innovation and lean production techniques. The snowboard technology went on show in November at the ‘SkillCity’ event at Manchester’s G-MEX where the Institute, ChamberLink and Chemicals Northwest set up a Manufacturing and Engineering Zone to give young people practical experience of the interesting jobs and training opportunities available in the industry. Engaging with schoolchildren and teachers is an important tool in getting the message across that manufacturing offers a wide range of attractive well-paid career options. This thinking has led to the recent appointment of Nicola Eagleton as the Institute’s education co-ordinator. “Only around 300 out of almost 600 Northwest secondary schools currently offers GCSE courses in manufacturing and the average pupil performance is low,” she explains. Eagleton is now working with partners to push education to the top of the manufacturing agenda. For further information: email: stevec@manufacturinginstitute.co.uk tel: Steve Corfield 0161 872 0393 www.manufacturinginstitute.co.uk

ARTIST CREATES GLOBAL BUSINESS As the region prepares for International Trade Week (March 6-10) small go-ahead Northwest companies are being urged to emulate the success of artist and author Philip Berrill who has broken into overseas markets with his art book series on painting. Since launching his professional career 29 years ago Philip has written a number of books, including “The Everyone’s Guide to..” series which has so far featured sketching, and oil, pastel and watercolour painting. Three years ago he bought the right to his books from his previous publisher and set about publishing them himself. Eager to make an impact overseas the intrepid Southport artist approached UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for assistance. He received financial support to participate in the Beijing Book Fair held in September 2003 and again in 2005. This allowed him to showcase his book to international buyers and research demand for his books in the Chinese market.

SALES SUPPORT His big success came in October 2005 when he signed a contract with a Chinese publisher to translate and publish his books into Mandarin and market them across the whole of China. Philip, 59, has now sold well over 300,000 copies of his books overseas and expects to reach one million within the next two to three years. He is full of praise for the level of support offered by UKTI staff during the trade shows and the help he received from Kegang Wu at ChinaLink in Liverpool. “There is a huge respect out there for British products and knowledge, especially educational and technical, “ he says. “My advice to anyone who thinks they have something that is exportable is to talk to the support agencies. There is a lot of quality advice available and some financial support.”

INTERNATIONAL TRADE DAY  Firms can learn about the benefits of selling

overseas during International Trade Week (March 6-10). The centrepiece of the week’s activities, International Trade Day, takes place in the De Vere White’s Hotel at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on Wednesday, March 8.  The calendar of events covers the whole region

Enterprise champion – Chancellor Gordon Brown swaps ideas with young people at the G-MEX event

His success in markets from Latin America to Mongolia resonates strongly with the efforts being made by UKTI to boost the Northwest’s export and economic performance. Co-located with the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) in Warrington to achieve maximum impact, the government organisation uses six international Trade teams across the region to provide a range of integrated support services for companies engaged in overseas trade and foreign enterprises seeking to locate in the UK.

and includes a focus on trading with the Americas (Greater Merseyside), the Russia Challenge (Greater Manchester), opportunities in South Asia (Cheshire and Warrington) and an interactive seminar on Central and Eastern Europe (Cumbria and Lancashire).

Trading places – Philip Berrill at work in China

BUCKING THE TREND An upbeat picture of the region’s export performance has emerged in recent weeks with a CBI survey revealing the Northwest to be one of only three UK regions currently reporting an increase in overseas orders and manufacturing output. Clive Drinkwater, the region’s newly appointed export director in succession to Vicki Treadell, believes it is no coincidence that these key indicators are bucking the national trend. “UK Trade & Investment has put extra effort and resources into ensuring that

international trade helps to drive regional economic success and we will continue to do so through initiatives like International Trade Week.” For further information: email: keithditchfield.ukti@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400190


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SCIENCE FUND REWARDS BRIGHT IDEAS Five Northwest university-industry partnerships have secured awards from the £15 million Northwest Science Fund to speed up the transfer of scientific discoveries into world-class commercial products. Research and development activity by the winning consortia is expected to lead to new materials for aerospace and automobile components, novel laser processes and breakthrough medical therapies including artificial arteries and nerve repair techniques. Launched by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) as part of its investment in the region’s science infrastructure, the Fund will help to create a cluster of world-class centres of excellence in areas such as stem cell research and accelerator science. It targets support at the area between ‘blue skies’ research and company Research and Development (R&D) where it is difficult to attract the traditional sources of funding. The bidding process was managed by the Northwest Science Council and generated over 100 ideas. Collaborative teams had to demonstrate that their projects had the potential to deliver strong commercial or social benefit for the region.

ultimately be self-sustaining. The UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration, which receives £1.45 million from the Fund, underlines the collaborative ethos behind the bids. Three universities, the NHS and five industrial partners including AstraZeneca are combining their resources to develop a number of new medical treatments. At the Centre, biomaterial engineers, molecular scientists and clinicians are working on small calibre artificial arteries, skin repair

products, cartilage regeneration and nerve repair techniques.

NEW COMPANIES Centre Director Professor Cay Kielty is optimistic that clinical trials of new skin and vascular grafts will begin in 18 months. The arteries are made from new types of polymers compatible with cell biology and will be applicable not just for coronary patients but for smokers with blocked leg arteries. “We are leading the world in this area

The award funding will be invested in a clean laboratory in the Core Technology Centre, one of the key facilities of the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering. “This is critically important because it gives us the aseptic conditions and quality control necessary in the commercialisation process,” adds Professor Kielty.

MATCH FUNDING All five awards have attracted match funding. The Northwest Composites Centre project, which will focus its research effort on creating new materials for use in the aerospace and automobile industries, will leverage in over ten times the Science Fund’s £2.10 million investment. Here the partners are Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster and Bolton universities who, collectively, will be providing £4.5 million, industry (£3.5 million) and the research councils (£13.4 million). Dr. Baxter says the whole bid process has highlighted the region’s world-class strength in scientific collaboration. “The big message for the future is that universities are prepared to work together with industry for the benefit of the Northwest economy.” For further information: email: claire.claessen@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100

GOOD IDEAS “We are seeding these projects as an investment in the Northwest economy,” explains Dr. George Baxter, the NWDA’s Head of Science and Innovation. “We had to turn down a lot of good ideas, some of which may well be progressed through the Northern Way Growth Fund.” The winning consortia brings together the academic expertise of Northwest universities with the market-driven R&D and commercial focus of industry. The funding covers an initial three-year period although Dr Baxter hopes the projects will have a much longer life and

PROBING THE UNIVERSE The flagship Cockcroft Institute has passed two important milestones in establishing itself as an international research and development centre in accelerator science and technology. Major new appointments include the confirmation of Professor John Dainton, Head of the Particle Physics Group at the University of Liverpool, as the Institute’s first Director and the appointment of Drs Roger Jones, Rob Appleby and Rebecca Seviour as the first new senior staff. Work has also started on fitting out the purpose-built facility on the Daresbury

because of our interdisciplinary approach,” says Professor. Kielty. “We have a proven track record of being able to work well together and this is what you need to produce artificial blood vessels.” She is hopeful the work of the Centre – an expansion of the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, which is already hosted by the University of Manchester - will lead to a number of spin-off companies being established in the Northwest.

International Science Park for occupation in Spring, allowing 100 scientists and engineers to begin tackling some of the challenges that will have to be solved if the next generation of particle accelerators is to be built. The Institute will enhance the UK’s research efforts in the fundamental science of the structure of matter and the origin of the Universe. Dr. George Baxter, Head of Science and Innovation at the NWDA, believes the Institute will put the UK “at the forefront of opportunities to commercially exploit a market

PROJECT AWARDS in new accelerator science facilities worth billions of pounds.” The Agency is providing £11 million of the initial £27 million investment in the project along with £6 million from the three universities involved in the unique joint venture – Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester. For further information: email: J.B. Dainton@dl.ac.uk tel: 01925 603820 www.lancs.ac.uk/cockcroft-institute

Novel Laser Processes for Microtechnology (Lead institution: University of Liverpool) £2.49 million Northwest Composites Centre (University of Manchester) £2.10 million The National Centre for Zoonosis Research (University of Liverpool) £1.68 million UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration (University of Manchester) £1.45 million Northwest Embryonic Stem Cell Centre (Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust) £1.45 million

SCHOOL STEPS UP FIGHT AGAINST MALARIA Scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are celebrating three major funding awards that will put the renowned institution in the forefront of the global struggle to defeat malaria and other deadly diseases. In October the government announced an £18 million investment package to fund a new Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases that will double the size of the Pembroke Place building and help to create 640 highly skilled new jobs within the region by 2015. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Merseyside Objective One programme will each invest £9 million in the new facility, due for completion in 2007. It will house laboratories and research space to develop new medicines that could go to local biomanufacturing companies for commercial production and marketing. Founded in 1898 by Liverpool ship-owners the School has pioneered much of the world’s research into tropical diseases and helped to produce drugs to treat diseases like malaria, which kills 2000 African children every day. The School will have even more resources at its disposal in the fight against malaria following news that it is to receive £29 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Levered in by the £18 million funding package, this further investment will lead a fast-track international programme to develop innovative mosquito control methods. Professor Janet Hemingway, the School’s Director, welcomed the Gates grant as “exciting” news for the School and Liverpool. She said that new insecticides were needed that were effective, affordable and safe for humans and the environment. “This grant will enable us to make huge strides in defeating the mosquito which is a very clever foe, constantly re-inventing itself so as to become resistant to insecticides.”


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“OUR ROLE IS TO ENCOURAGE BUSINESSES TO BECOME MORE RESOURCE EFFICIENT, SAVING THEM MONEY AS WELL AS REDUCING THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.” MARK ATHERTON HEAD OF ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, NWDA

Localised action on climate change is gathering pace with dozens of major companies and organisations joining forces to power the Northwest, one of the nation’s biggest energy users, towards a low-carbon economy. Businesses like the Manchester-based Cooperative Insurance Society (CIS), which has installed solar panels and micro-wind turbines on two of its key buildings, are helping to establish the Northwest as a benchmark region for combating the effects of global warming. The Northwest’s proactive stance on reducing greenhouse gas emissions was praised by Minister for Climate Change and Environment Elliot Morley at a Climate Change Summit held fittingly in the tropical surroundings of Liverpool Sefton Park’s restored Palm House. Billed as “The Ultimate Challenge”, the January summit provided the platform for the launch of the Northwest Climate Change Charter, a Sustainability Northwest (SNW)inspired business initiative to encourage the private and public sectors to commit to reducing energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was one of the first regional organisations to sign up to the initiative.

LEADERSHIP ROLE Sustainable development champion Lord Thomas of Macclesfield, who is spearheading the charter campaign, told the summit audience that climate change was a here and now problem, not a remote issue for future generations. “People look to the Northwest for leadership and we should pick up the challenge and lead in this new revolution,” he said. Over 60 signatories, including Pilkington plc, Manchester City Council and Salford University, have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions, establish effective monitoring systems and make it a tenet of internal decision-making. SNW is hoping to achieve a target of 1000 signatories including many small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) by the end of the year.

Another event will be held to report progress later in the 2006. The charter is the latest in a series of forward-looking projects and initiatives being pursued within the Northwest as it seeks to stamp its distinctive mark on the climate change agenda. Some like the creation of the Northwest Energy Council are national ‘firsts’. Climate Change campaigners grabbed the spotlight in November at the launch of the “Manchester is my Planet” initiative by unveiling of a scroll of 10,000 names of people who have pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 20% by 2010. In a progress report to the summit on regional action, Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, described climate change a “make or break issue which presents an unprecedented series opportunities to work together.”

PROACTIVE RESPONSE

THREE YEAR TARGETS

For further information: email: e.glynn@snw.org.uk tel: Dr. Steven Glynn 0161 247 7800

In line with the government’s UK Sustainable Development priorities, the Agency is working with key partners to develop a regional climate change action plan that will draw together a fragmented collection of policies, projects and programmes into a coherent framework. It will set three-year targets for reductions in commercial and public energy use, reduced CO2 emissions from transport and increased energy production from renewable sources. A lead player in action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the NWDA has funded a number of organisations and projects including Renewables Northwest, Envirolink Northwest, ENWORKS and two academic centres of excellence, the Joule Centre and the Dalton Nuclear Institute. Business is facing challenges and opportunities on climate change, particularly in relation to energy conservation. Industry accounts for 22% of CO2 emissions from the region, second only to emissions from homes. In 2000 the region poured 63 million tonnes of CO2 pollutants into the atmosphere placing it on a par with Portugal.

Increased risk of flooding is one likely scenario resulting from climate change. Research suggests the number of people in the region at risk could rise from 200,000 in 2,000 to up to 375,000 in the 2080s with flood damage soaring from £125 million to between £150 million and £2.5 billion. Mark Atherton, Head of Environment and Sustainable Development at the NWDA, says the Northwest had adopted a proactive response to climate change. “Our role is to encourage businesses to become more resource efficient, saving them money as well as reducing their environmental impact. We also need to predict the effects that Climate Change may have on business sectors and assist them to avoid the risks and take advantage of the opportunities.”

Environmental champion – Elliott Morley at the Climate Change Summit

 Annual mean temperature at Manchester

Airport has risen 0.4° between 1988 and 1997  Summer rainfall has decreased by 20% over

the last century  Increase in high intensity rainfall since

the 1960s  Seasonal rainfall varying by as much as 15%

from the average in the last 30 years  Sea level rise at Liverpool of around 6cm in

the last 50 years and could rise by up to 69cm by the end of the century  Increased flooding in some of the region’s

rivers in the last few decades (serious flooding in Carlisle in 2004)

GREEN ENERGY PIONEERS Prime Minister Tony Blair demonstrated that Northwest businesses are among the most pioneering users of renewable energy in the country when he switched on the Co-operative Insurance Society’s £5.5 million Solar Tower Project, the largest of its kind in the UK. When work is completed the 400ft service tower of the CIS’s landmark building in the centre of Manchester will be clad in 7,000 photovoltaic panels generating enough electricity to make nine millions cups of tea a year. The project has been supported by a £885,000 NWDA grant. The CIS has since moved ahead with a second renewables scheme by installing micro wind turbines on the roof of its 13-storey building across the city in Portland Street. Each of the 19 turbines will generate 1KW of electricity and save around one tonne of carbon dioxide per annum.

TAKING THE LEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE Shining example – an artist’s impression of the Solar Tower on completion

CLIMATE CHANGE FACTFILE

Good company – Tony Blair with NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray (left) and CFS Chief Executive David Anderson at the Solar Tower switch-on.

Schools are also joining the green energy bandwagon, the latest one being Kingsmead Primary School in Northwich which has become the first in the Northwest to be built with a biomass heating system. “We want our students to learn from the environment, not just consume it,” explains head teacher Catriona Stewart whose school now uses less than a quarter of the energy typically consumed by a primary school. There has been a surge in the number of renewable energy projects in the Northwest in the last few years. Wind power schemes operating or in the pipeline will deliver 94 MW of electricity for an investment of nearly £70 million. Projects at the planning or appeal stages would deliver another 193 MW while approved offshore schemes have a total capacity of 270WM and a value of £300 million.


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PEOPLE AND JOBS NEWS Award-winning regeneration specialist Urban Splash is the lead developer for the former Littlewoods Pools headquarters in the Edge Lane corridor. Plans for the ‘ocean-liner’ art deco style building include apartments and a hotel, as well as commercial and speciality retail space. Dr. Pauleen Lane, a Board member of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, has been appointed as Deputy Chair to the Board of English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency for England. Padiham in Lancashire is set to receive £1 million from the NWDA under the Market Town Initiative (MTI). Funding support will focus on a new look for the town hall, a makeover of Padiham Market and extensive public realm improvements. Prominent Northwest businessman Neville Chamberlain, a Board member of the NWDA from 2001-04, has been appointed Chairman of The Northern Way, a collaborative initiative between the three Northern RDAs. He is a former Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of BNFL. Businesses in Keswick have voted in favour of setting up a Business Improvement District (BID), the first British rural town to do so. Over the next five years local enterprises will work with the NWDA and other public sector partners to boost trade by making Keswick a more welcoming, customer friendly town. Liverpool Vision has been granted outline planning permission for a new Commercial District in the heart of Liverpool comprising 1.5 million sq ft of high quality commercial office space, new public spaces and associated car parking.

NEW EQUALITY DRIVE

BBC BOOST FOR MEDIA ZONE A new Media Zone, anchored by a greatly expanded BBC broadcast centre and supported by a co-located cluster of independent production companies and facilities providers, is to be established in the heart of Greater Manchester. BBC Governors have already approved the transfer of eight departments and 1,600 jobs to the Northwest in 2010 as part of its radical new “Out of London” strategy, a decision that will have a major economic impact on the region. Site selection for the proposed Media Zone has been narrowed down to two locations – Quays Point, Salford Quays, and Manchester’s Central Spine which is located off Whitworth Street between the viaduct and Princess Parkway. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and public sector partners have pledged to support the move with an investment of £50 million in infrastructure, public realm and skills development.

concentration of independent production companies, and possibly other broadcasters, on the new digital campus. The BBC is keen to involve the public in the new venture and is planning to develop an on-site Open Centre. The Media Zone would also offer business support and flexible space to incubate new media sector supply chain companies for BBC and ITV Granada who also have a strong production presence in Manchester. For further information: email: martin.brooks@bbc.co.uk tel: Martin Brooks 0161 244 3177

FAIR EMPLOYMENT ZONE  The equality strategy is already working with

A new strategy action plan, to be launched in April, will aim to widen opportunity for people who face discrimination or are socially excluded. The three bodies making up the new Equality Strategy Group will each lead on a separate area of implementation. • The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is championing economic participation for all. • The Government Office for the North West (GONW) is looking at ways of reducing hate crime and violence. • The remit of the North West Regional Assembly (NWRA) is promotion of diversity as an economic asset. Vicki Austin, Social Inclusion Policy and Development Manager at the NWDA, says the success and prosperity of the Northwest depends on all its citizens having a stake in its future. “The Northwest is one of the most diverse regions in the country, and we need to ensure that mainstream activity, spending and resource allocation help to create positive opportunities for groups who might face barriers accessing jobs, training or public services” she explains.

Research commissioned by the NWDA reveals that if women, disabled and BME groups were able to participate equally in the labour market, in terms of participation and pay, the region could be functioning up to 25% more effectively. The new drive for greater equality coincides with news that the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will be establishing a headquarters operation in Manchester. Due to launch in 2007 the CEHR will merge the functions of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Disability Rights Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality as well as taking on responsibility for faith, age and sexual orientation. A strong CEHR presence in the region should boost the work of the region in promoting economic participation for all, claims Austin. “The government intends that CEHR will become a focus for good practice and encourage employers to operate in a more productive and effective way,” she says. For further information: tel: Akhtar Zaman 01925 400265 www.nwda.gov.uk/equality

the UK’s first Fair Employment Zone being established at the Trafford Centre. The scheme is designed to promote best practice in equality and diversity among the centre’s 230 retailers and encourage employers to develop a business culture that values and promotes diversity, and a workforce that better reflects the local community. The project has been developed by ACAS with funding from the NWDA.  A study commissioned by the NWDA has

HIGH VALUE JOBS “The BBC’s proposed expansion offers an unrivalled opportunity to build a world-class media cluster within the region, one that will have great implications for the economic, social and creative well-being of the whole region for decades to come,” commented NWDA Chief Executive Steven Broomhead. An economic analysis of the BBC’s relocation plans, commissioned by the Agency, has concluded that they will add £150 million per annum in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the regional economy and generate 3,500 high-value jobs. The BBC has declared its intent to draw on the large pool of creative talent that exists across the whole of the North of England and the NWDA is talking to other Northern Way partners (Yorkshire Forward and One NorthEast) about how they can take advantage of the opportunities created in the Media Zone. It is expected there would be a strong

Three major public sector organisations have joined forces to promote the value of diversity in the Northwest and are seeking to turn the region into a national beacon of equality good practice. They hope to achieve this through the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Strategy, which was launched by Home Office Minister Hazel Blears in January 2005. The strategy has six key strands – supporting black and ethnic minority (BME) communities; promoting gender equality; ensuring equal access for disabled people; promoting the role of faith communities; reducing age discrimination; and combating homophobia.

NEW RIGHTS BODY

ON THE MOVE BBC departments scheduled to transfer to Manchester include Children’s BBC (two digital channels), BBC Sport, Radio Five Live and Five Live Extra, New Media, two educational services - Digital Curriculum and Formal Learning - and Research and Development (R&D). The Corporation plans to create a BBC Research Institute, staffed by half the BBC’s R&D personnel (125 jobs), within the media village to concentrate on the ‘blue skies’ research needed to drive public sector broadcasting into the digital age. A small advance team will kick-start the transfer process in 2006.

found that ethnic minority businesses in the Northwest contribute up to £2.4 billion per annum to the region’s economy. They represent 6.3% of the total number of companies but generate a high proportion of profits for the region at over 7%.

Equal partners – the Trafford Centre has a business culture that values diversity.


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PEOPLE AND JOBS

BLUEPRINT FOR A PROSPEROUS FUTURE Ministers have been asked to endorse a new and more sharply focused Regional Economic Strategy (RES) that aims to create a step change in the Northwest’s competitive performance during the period 2006-09. It sets out a clear sustainable development route to increased prosperity. The RES defines stiff new targets for the region over the next three years to narrow the output gap that exists between the Northwest

Family fun day – Beeston Castle, Cheshire

RES TARGETS FACTFILE The RES sets out a number of stiff economic targets that need to be achieved by 2009 including:  Achieving GVA growth above the

England average  Creating 150,000 net new jobs,

80,000 of which should be in ‘knowledge’ occupations  Raising new business formation to

21,000 a year  Reducing the number of working age

people with no qualifications by 80,000  Increasing the number of people in the

workforce with graduate qualifications by 120,000  Boosting the regional workforce

by 83,000  Reducing the number of areas in the UK’s

worst 5% deprived  Reducing CO2 emissions per unit (£)

of GVA The RES sets out a series of longer-term ambitions, including raising the regional employment rate to 80% by 2020, and achieving parity with the England average on new company formation.

and the rest of England. These include the creation of 150,000 new jobs, raising the new company formation rate to 21,000 a year and getting 83,000 more people into the workforce. Produced after a wide-ranging review process, which involved 90 consultation events over 12 months, the new blueprint will be officially launched in March, subject to government endorsement. Produced and owned by the region, it paints a vision of the Northwest being transformed into “a dynamic sustainable international economy, which competes on the basis of knowledge, advanced technology and an excellent quality of life for all.” The RES is regarded as being significantly different from previous Regional Economic Strategies. In his covering letter to the Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry, Alan Johnson, the NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray, says “the RES makes tough choices and is realistic, rather than covering everyone’s wish lists and agendas.” One of the noticeable changes is the integration of an action plan identifying the lead partners for each action to ensure delivery.

HOUSING FOCUS Simon Nokes, who has coordinated the review process and production of the 61-page document, believes it takes a “more holistic” approach to economic regeneration and is a more logical piece of analysis. “There is far more focus on housing, transport and communities than in previous strategies. Housing is crucial to economic development and the RES recognises that. The vision is also very specific - it is not a bland statement of intent.” The RES has been framed to address serious shortcomings in the economy. Regional output (GVA) per head is 12% lower than the England average resulting in a £13 billion output gap. Most of that (£10 billion) is due to lower productivity (GVA per employee) with the rest (£3 billion) due to fewer people working per head of population. “There is no silver bullet to solve the region’s problems. It will be a combination of many things that will make the difference, “ explains Nokes. “The magic formula is the vision and the actions we have to implement to bring those aspirations to reality.” Preparation of the RES has been led by the NWDA assisted by a regional advisory group drawn from the public, private and voluntary/community sectors. This resulted in a “high quality” debate about the key priorities. It is estimated that over the three-year RES period, the region will receive £167 billion in

public resources with £45 billion firmly within the scope of influence of the updated framework. During this timeframe the NWDA will have a total budget of £1.3 billion to implement the strategy.

PRIORITY ACTIONS The RES makes it clear that the region is reliant on three major drivers for closing the output gap – improving productivity and growing the market, growing the size and capability of the workforce, and creating and maintaining conditions for sustainable growth. Across these drivers it identifies 122 actions for achieving growth and of these 45 are classed as priority or transformational actions. They cover five main areas – business, skills and education, people and jobs, infrastructure and quality of life. Significant changes were made to the RES as a result of the consultation process. The vision was amended to be ‘more motivational, regionally specific and focused on the transformational agenda.’ This has led to actions being tightened, made more specific and focused on sustaining success as well as tackling need.

The strategy reflects the strong economic linkages with neighbouring regions in the context of the Northern Way Growth Strategy. An official launch of the RES will take place in the House of Commons on March 27. A regional event is also planned. The new RES will also mean some changes to the structure of the NWDA to make sure that the Agency is best placed to deliver the transformational agenda. The revised structure will strengthen the organisation’s capacity to

lead on policy issues, improve project and programme delivery and enable the effective delivery of the priorities set out in the RES. It will also strengthen our relationships with subregional partners and ensure a consistent approach across the region. More information will follow in the next edition of 315.

For further information: email: simon.nokes@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100 www.nwda.co.uk/strategy

PATHWAYS TO DYNAMIC ECONOMY The Regional Economic Strategy sets a clear vision of the Northwest as a dynamic, sustainable international economy, which competes on the basis of knowledge, advanced technology and an excellent quality of life for all where: 1 Productivity and enterprise levels are high, in a low carbon economy, driven by innovation, leadership excellence and high skills. 2 Manchester and Liverpool are vibrant European cities, and with Preston, are key drivers of city-regional growth.

“THE RES MAKES TOUGH CHOICES AND IS REALISTIC, RATHER THAN COVERING EVERYONE’S WISH LISTS AND AGENDAS.” BRYAN GRAY CHAIRMAN, NWDA

3 Growth opportunities around Crewe, Chester, Warrington, Lancaster and Carlisle are fully developed. 4 Key growth assets are fully utilised (priority sectors, the higher education and science base, ports/airports, strategic regional sites, the natural environment, especially the Lake District, and the rural economy). 5 The economies of East Lancashire, Blackpool, Barrow and West Cumbria are regenerated. 6 Employment rates are high and concentrations of low employment are eliminated.

Screen test – Students learn new age skills at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre

ADVICE ON EFFECTIVE INVESTMENT Economic planners have given the government clear ground-breaking guidance on where public investment earmarked for the Northwest should be spent to be most effective. They point out that to realise its full economic and social development potential the region must address serious weaknesses in the housing and labour markets and in public transport. A new 30-page report submitted to ministers on behalf of the region by the North West Regional Assembly and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) identifies key spending priorities to remove these barriers to success. Building on its commitment to devolve more decision-making to the regions Whitehall has sought the views of Northwest stakeholders on how some funding streams, known as the Regional Funding Allocations, should be spent. After extensive collaborative working and consultation, regional planners have drawn up specific advice for ministers, which if followed, could result in more people in work, more affordable houses and a better quality transport network. And for the first time, the region has agreed its transport priorities, defining 25 new road schemes, within an agreed budget, with a further 4 contingency schemes. Planners also argue that to be more effective a greater number of funding streams should be included in the RFA process in the future, particularly those relating to other aspects of economic development including rail infrastructure and franchise funding. Currently the RFA total of £764 million is less than two per cent of total public expenditure in the region. For further information: email: peter.white@nwda.co.uk or steve.barwick@nwra.org.uk tel: 01925 400100


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PEOPLE AND JOBS

KINGS ARENA FACT FILE  Cost: £146 million  Funders: English Partnerships, Liverpool City Council,

Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Merseyside Objective One Programme  Project coordinated by Liverpool Vision  9,500 capacity arena  1,350-seat conference centre  Overall exhibition capacity 7,000 sq ft  A public piazza able to accommodate outdoor events  1,600 space multi-storey car park  Constructed by Bovis Lend Lease  Architects: Wilkinson Eyre

NEW ARENA UNDERWAY Spectacular changes to Liverpool’s historic skyline are on the way after construction teams moved on to the Kings Waterfront site to begin work on the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre. Funding partners expect the £146 million landmark project to be completed in time for it to play a pivotal role in the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008. At a launch ceremony on the 14.6 ha site in

Smooth passage – an interior view of one of the Arena entrance areas

October the scheme’s designers, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, twice winners of the Stirling Prize, unveiled new images of the interior of the new complex. The design incorporates the various functional requirements as a single complex of two unified forms joined by a central glazed ‘galleria’ forming a common circulation space. The complex comprises a state-of-the-art 9,500-seat arena and a 1,350-seat conference

centre, a central piazza capable of staging outdoor events and a 1,600 space multi-storey car park.

IMPORTANT MILESTONE Viewed from the river, the composition of the two sculpted forms, pivoted about the central galleria, resembles a pair of outstretched arms or ‘wings’, spanning Liverpool’s Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals. Sir Joe Dwyer, Chairman of Liverpool Vision, the urban regeneration company, which is coordinating the project, hailed the start of construction as “an important milestone in the city’s longstanding ambition to create a visitor destination of international quality on the waterfront.” The Arena and Convention Centre and infrastructure works are supported by the largest single investment - £50 million - from the EU’s Objective One programme and by English Partnerships (£67 million), Northwest Regional Development Agency (£15 million) and Liverpool City Council (£11 million). The Arena is part of a larger ‘mixed use’ scheme – Kings Waterfront. This has attracted large private sector investment from a number of key developers who have been selected to

“IT WILL BE A STUNNING STATEMENT ABOUT THE CITY’S FUTURE AS AN INTERNATIONAL VISITOR DESTINATION.” BOB PRATTEY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LIVERPOOL ARENA AND CONVENTION CENTRE

construct the hotel, first phase residential and ‘affordable’ housing components as part of the approved masterplan. The Arena will start life debt free, according to Sir David Henshaw, Chief Executive of the City Council, who commented: “ We have put together a sound financial package which protects the interests of council taxpayers - a remarkable achievement that will sustain its long-term financial viability.” On completion the Arena will elevate Liverpool into the “premier league of entertainment and leisure destinations”, says Bob Prattey, Chief Executive of the company created to manage the complex.

FLEXIBLE DESIGN The events complex has been designed to meet the requirements of a number of distinct markets from rock concerts, comedy shows and big sporting events to corporate and international conference bookings. “There is a pent-up demand for this sort of facility. Merseyside has not had such an architecturally and operationally significant venue to attract major international events so it’s an exciting venture,” comments Prattey, former Managing Director of the NEC Group venues in Birmingham. Flexibility has been a key element in the design of the strikingly contemporary complex. The main auditorium of the Convention Centre features two revolving sections capable of functioning independently or as part of the larger space. Beneath the Convention Centre will be a multi-purpose hall of 3,600 sq metres, which forms part of the centre’s overall exhibition capacity of 7000 sq metres. Interest from potential users is described as “very encouraging” and detailed negotiations are underway with over 70 organisations from the key target markets. “We are looking to be a preferred port of call for all the major UK concert tours,” says Prattey . It is intended to transfer the Summer Pops into the Arena in the summer of 2008,

enabling the well-established event to grow in larger and more contemporary surroundings. Prattey expects the complex to be completed early in 2008 in time for it to play a starring role in the Capital of Culture celebrations. “It will be a stunning statement about the city’s future as an international visitor destination.”

For further information: email: bobprattey@liverpool.gov.uk tel: 0151 233 2458 www.kingswaterfrontliverpool.co.uk Big occasions – the Arena will host concerts, comedy shows and major sporting events


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SKILLS AND EDUCATION NEWS HEFCE, the higher education funding body, has awarded the University of Liverpool £4.5 million to develop a centre of excellence in undergraduate medical education. The new facility will ensure graduates leave university with the professional attitudes increasingly recognised as important in the 21st century. Graduates from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire campus are more employable than the average British university graduate, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. 95% of the 1,500 graduates from MMU’s 100 courses at Crewe and Alsager found work within six months or went on to further study, compared to less than 94% nationally. Work on photon science – “light for science” - is to be stepped up following the launch of a £40 million world-class research institute at the University of Manchester. The new centre will place an emphasis on knowledge transfer and innovation within industry. Humanities students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will be able to develop their employability skills at a new showcase centre to be opened at the heart of the Preston Campus in September 2007. Funded with £4.5 million from HEFCE, the new centre will include realistic work environments to give students a taste of what it is like to work in theatres, radio and television.

UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA PLAN Education leaders are set to create a new multi-site University of Cumbria that would use the latest advances in communications technology to deliver a pioneering interactive brand of Higher Education to all corners of the county. Based in Carlisle, it would be formed from the amalgamation of St. Martin’s College – Britain’s biggest teaching college – and the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA), and could be ready for the start of the academic year 2007-08, subject to final funding approval. Governing bodies of the two independent institutions agreed in December to join forces in the new Higher Education (HE) venture after the distinguished academic Professor Sir Martin Harris recommended the integration of the two colleges into a “coherent” university.

Home from home – new student accommodation at St. Martin’s, Carlisle

DISTRIBUTED LEARNING Responding to a request from Sir Howard Newby, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to look at various HE models for Cumbria, Sir Martin also proposed the development of a distributed learning network that would use four electronicallylinked Further Education colleges to deliver courses in outlying towns. Consultants are now helping a Steering Group of managers and governors from St. Martin’s and CIA develop a financially robust business case for the new university. This is expected to go the main funding bodies in June. HEFCE would be the main funder.

Liverpool John Moores University has been given planning approval to develop a new £23.5 million Art and Design Academy. Designed by award winning architect Rick Mather and next to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the building is scheduled to open in 2008 and is expected to boost the flow of graduates into the region’s creative industries.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has pledged its strong support for the pioneering project, along with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, now headquartered in Cumbria, which is anxious to widen the nuclear industry’s skills base. The proposals do not preclude other HE institutions like the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), which has three campuses in Cumbria from continuing to provide courses in the county. The University of Lancaster, for example, has launched new degree courses in electrical and mechanical engineering at Furness

College in Barrow. Sir Martin, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, who is also Deputy-Chairman of the NWDA, spoke about his new vision for HE in Cumbria after consulting with education leaders in the county and looking at different models around Britain. “No other university in England has been planned in this way,” he explained. “Its special identity will be that from the beginning it will be a multi-campus purposely conceived for the broadband age so that courses offered on one campus can be accessed simultaneously in other places”. “For example, a lecture could be given in Carlisle and students could be watching and asking questions in Barrow. This is now technically possible and has been helped by the NWDA’s £20 million investment extending broadband cover to the whole of Cumbria through Project ACCESS”. Some courses would be delivered through a distance learning Further Education (FE) network comprising Furness

Coffee break – students at St Martin’s, Ambleside campus

College, Lakes College, Kendal College and Carlisle College. The proposals envisage UCLan, Lancaster and the Open University joining the network. HE provision in Cumbria has been a serious issue for some time and various ideas have emerged including one several years ago for a University of the Lakes. A consortium of providers currently delivers degree courses under the University Education Cumbria brand.

“ITS SPECIAL IDENTITY WILL BE THAT FROM THE BEGINNING IT WILL BE A MULTI-CAMPUS PURPOSELY CONCEIVED FOR THE BROADBAND AGE SO THAT COURSES OFFERED ON ONE CAMPUS CAN BE ACCESSED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN OTHER PLACES.” SIR MARTIN HARRIS DIRECTOR OF FAIR ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION, OFFICE FOR FAIR ACCESS

BRAND APPEAL Professor Chris Carr, Principal and Chief Executive of St. Martin’s College, says the social and economic benefits of increasing participation in HE, particularly in West Cumbria, were immeasurable. “We now have a tremendous opportunity to address through education, some of the many social and economic problems facing the county.” In March 2005 St. Martin’s applied to the Quality Assurance Agency for the power to award its own degrees. This is considered to be a key piece of the jigsaw in setting up a new university. Sir Martin suggests that as well as widening HE opportunities for Cumbrians the new hub should aim to build a portfolio of courses sufficiently attractive to draw students and post-graduates from other parts of the UK and overseas. “Certain courses marketed under a University of Cumbria brand could have great pulling power. Think what a draw it would be to offer external students the chance of say studying Wordsworth in a location like Ambleside…” For further information: email: m.spence@ucsm.ac.uk tel: Martyn Spence 01228 616012

Practical experience – The BA Hons in Photography is a popular course at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts

UNIVERSITY FACTFILE

 The new university could have over 10,000 fulltime

and part-time HE students within ten years of receiving its Royal Charter and a course portfolio in tune with modern career aspirations.  Founded in 1964, St. Martin’s is the bigger of the two

colleges with 3,500 students based at campuses in Carlisle and Ambleside and at sites in Barrow and Whitehaven. It trains more teachers than anywhere else in the country and is one of the main providers of health care professionals in the Northwest.  The Cumbria Institute for the Arts (CIA) has a history

Scenic setting – Cumbria Institute of Arts’ main Brampton Road campus

dating back to the 1820s. Its campus is on a former mansion site in Carlisle where it teaches 1,500 parttime and full-time students in courses as varied as media, design and photography. There is also a growing cohort of students doing Masters degrees.


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INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

“THE GOVERNMENT RECOGNISES THIS BUT THE BIG ISSUE IS MONEY. GETTING THE FUNDS TOGETHER IS LIKE A JIGSAW BUT WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.”

Work has been completed on a £4 million scheme to make the area around Renshaw Street and Berry Street in Liverpool safer for motorists and pedestrians. Funded by a number of partners including the NWDA, the scheme is part of the wider £73 million City Centre Movement Strategy.

BRIAN SIMPSON DIRECTOR, NORTH WEST RAIL CAMPAIGN

Greater Manchester transport authority has been awarded £1.2 million to explore innovative ways of tackling congestion. The investment is part of the government’s work on a national road-pricing scheme. Ten slip road locations on the M6, M62 and M60 in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire are being equipped with traffic lights to reduce congestion and increase traffic flows. The system, known as ‘ramp metering’, has been found to increase traffic speeds in advance of the designated junctions by up to 18% with reductions in overall journey times of up to 11%.

Fresh investment in public transport schemes at Manchester Airport is helping to lessen the environmental impact of the surge in passenger traffic, which reached records levels in 2005, due in part to the popularity of new low-cost services. Over £100 million has been invested in or earmarked for new ground transport schemes including £40 million for the yetto-be built Metrolink extension, Journeys undertaken by rail, bus and coach have risen to 12% (2.7 million passengers) and are set to go higher when a third platform at the airport’s rail station is built, possibly by 2008. The challenge to get more people out of their cars will intensify as the growth in air travel accelerates. Last year the airport handled 22.1 million passengers, a 5.26% increase on the previous year, and hopes to hit 40 million by 2015 by investing in more terminal and car parking space.

Transport decision makers and politicians will discuss the vital role buses can play in managing congestion, stimulating prosperity and ensuring social inclusion at a Northwest Bus Summit at Birchwood Conference Centre, Warrington on March 23. Local transport authorities in the Northwest are to receive £212 million in 2006-07 to fund a range of improvements from new road safety measures and better street lightings to park and ride facilities and cycle lanes. Schemes benefiting include Ormskirk Interchange, Chester Rail Gateway and St. Helens Central Station.

AIRPORT RISES TO THE CHALLENGE

INCREASED CAPACITY

Quality Network – rail improvements are a key to economic success

RAIL INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN ON TRACK Rail campaigners have unveiled a list of wide ranging rail priorities to help bring about a step change in the region’s economic performance. The most pressing is the pivotal Manchester Hub project. Completing the three phases (nine schemes) would cost an estimated £1 billion but would remove a key constraint on the reliability and capacity of the region’s rail network. Brian Simpson, Director of the North West Rail Campaign, says the Hub is a major priority and could support an additional 20,000 jobs. “It causes serious congestion and that results in delays right across the region.” Published recently, the group’s lobby document, ‘North West Rail – A Case for Investment’, highlights the crucial role rail plays in delivering economic, social and environmental objectives. It identifies over 20 priorities, arguing that although the cost can be high their ability to close the North of England’s £30 billion output gap with the rest of Britain is huge. Work is in progress, or in the pipeline, on five schemes costing £100 million. These include the Halton Curve, Crewe Gateway and

Liverpool South Parkway. Other core schemes include the £87 million Liverpool to Manchester Electrification and Phases I and II of the Manchester Hub. Campaign partners have also listed another 11 priorities ranging from the Manchester Airport Western Link to the completed modernisation of the West Coast Main Line. “Manchester Piccadilly is one of two main congestion points outside London,” says Simpson. “The government recognises this but the big issue is money. Getting the funds together is like a jigsaw but we are making progress.” He signalled the Campaign’s close working relationship with the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) on strategic rail issues by recently handing a totem railway sign to Chief Executive Steven Broomhead in recognition of the shared vision to improve the region’s transport connectivity. For further information email: emma.antrobus@manairport.co.uk Tel: 0161 489 3725 www.manchesterairport.co.uk

Work has already started on a multimillion scheme to raise the capacity of Terminal 2 (T2) from the current 7 million to 18 million. Over 49 new check-in desks will be provided across the airport, 22 in Terminal 1, 15 in ‘the Station’ and 12 in T2. The shortfall in charter passenger traffic in 2005 - down 2.27% to 8.9 million – was more than offset by a boom in low-cost bookings, which boosted the number of scheduled international passengers by 14% to 9.78 million.

Clive Tilley, Director of Marketing at Manchester Airport, is hoping the new Open Skies policy will induce more US carriers to join American Airlines, Delta, Continental and US Air in flying to Manchester. “We also hope that some of the other bilateral agreements will provide scope for Manchester to attract more long haul business.” Manchester Airport’s importance as a wealth generator for the whole region is highlighted in the new Regional Economic Strategy, which lists it as one of 45 projects that can transform the Northwest economy over the next three years. “Basing our calculations on an extra million passengers creating 800 jobs we might see the airport workforce, which is presently close to 19,000, grow by another 14,000 by 2015,” explains Tilley. Guided by sustainable development principles, the Manchester Airport Group is working to minimise the impact of this growth on the local road network by encouraging greater use of public transport through investment and the promotion of car sharing by staff. Bob Longworth, Ground Transport Manager, says there is a continuing

need for investment including a third rail platform in order to meet the long-term challenge to push public transport journeys up to 40%. “Since the £60 million Interchange project was completed in 2003 we have seen a big step change in the quality of the product being offered to rail, bus and coach passengers.” A third platform is seen as a priority by a number of funding and lobby groups to increase capacity. Currently there is high utilisation of the two existing rail platforms with delays common due to trains ‘stacking’ on each platform. A third platform will improve the efficiency generally of rail services within the region, according to Longworth, and reduce overcrowding. “It will allow us to run additional trains and longer trains into the airport.” For further information: email: press.office@manairport.co.uk Tel: 0161 489 3000 www.manchesterairport.co.uk

Paving the way – the airport has earmarked £40 million for a Metrolink extension

“BASING OUR CALCULATIONS ON AN EXTRA MILLION PASSENGERS CREATING 800 JOBS WE MIGHT SEE THE AIRPORT WORKFORCE, WHICH IS PRESENTLY CLOSE TO 19,000, GROW BY ANOTHER 14,000 BY 2015.” CLIVE TILLEY DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, MANCHESTER AIRPORT


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QUALITY OF LIFE NEWS Lancashire cheesemaker Dew-Lay has won the prestigious title of 2005 ‘North West Food Producer of theYear’ with its Garstang Blue cheese, a product launched just three years ago. Liverpool will host 40 new events in art, music, sport, theatre and opera, including two European premieres, as part of the Liverpool Performs 2006 programme, the fourth Capital of Culture themed year. Launched during LIPA’s 10th anniversary celebrations the cultural extravaganza will feature an artistic and multimedia programme around the theme of transition and rebuilding. Cumbria now has its own premiere film office run by Alan Saywell, a film and TV industry professional. His job will be to raise Cumbria’s profile amongst filmmakers, generate jobs and attract inward investment. Manchester’s International Convention Centre and G-MEX has been chosen by the National Union of Teachers as the venue for its 2008 annual conference after a successful bid by the Northwest Conference Bidding Unit (NWCBU). The 12 conferences attracted since the NWCBU was established in 2004 with NWDA funding are expected to generate £5 million for the regional economy. Liverpool Biennial is the first winner of the £10,000 Lever Prize, a new annual award for world-class arts organisations in the Northwest. Sponsored by the Northwest Business Leadership Team, in partnership with Culture Northwest, the award aims to revive the philanthropic traditions practised by successful industrialists of the past. Ann Green, Chairman of the Royal Armouries, has been appointed Chairman of the management organisation set up to maximise the tourism potential of Hadrian’s Wall. James Berresford, Director of Tourism at the NWDA, joins the new body as a Board member.

Ladies who shop – a new advertising campaign promotes Chester as a premier shopping destination.

CHESHIRE WOOS MORE VISITORS

Chester is under attack …… not a repeat of the Vikings’ invasion in the year 980, but this time an all-out campaign by tourist chiefs to attract more visitors to the city and the wider county of Cheshire. The Roman city of Deva is one of five “attack brands” chosen by the five tourism boards within the Northwest, joining Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool and the Lake District. Visit Chester and Cheshire, the brand adopted by the Cheshire and Warrington Tourism Board, is aiming to use the county town as a focal point to slipstream tourists into the lush attraction-rich hinterland. The Board is already celebrating success in the latest regional tourism awards, held in October last year. Four of the 12 categories, including hotel of the year, were won by businesses in Cheshire.

ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN Cheshire’s share of the region’s tourism market is currently worth £800 million, a figure tourism leaders hope to increase to £1.5 billion over the next decade by targeting the highspend short-break and conference markets. The Board was established in April 2004 along with four other sub-regional Boards after the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) assumed the lead role for tourism in England’s Northwest, supported by the Northwest Tourism Forum.

Barrie Kelly, Director of Operations at Visit Chester and Cheshire, says there has been an over reliance on day visitors. “Our aim is to attract tourists who are looking to spend more and stay longer. The key is to market the thematic strengths of Cheshire – its waterways, gardens, golf courses and food and drink – off the back of the more powerful attack brand of Chester.” A major advertising campaign will be launched this month in upmarket glossy magazines, targeting women who are increasingly viewed as the decision-makers for short break destinations, he says. “They may be DINKYs (double income no kids) or older empty-nesters looking for a

“THE KEY IS TO MARKET THE THEMATIC STRENGTHS OF CHESHIRE – ITS WATERWAYS, GARDENS, GOLF COURSES AND FOOD AND DRINK – OFF THE BACK OF THE MORE POWERFUL ATTACK BRAND OF CHESTER.” BARRIE KELLY DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, VISIT CHESTER AND CHESHIRE

place to escape, relax, indulge themselves with a spa or shopping break,” he says.

OTHER WINNERS IN THE ENGLAND’S NORTHWEST TOURISM AWARDS

RURAL TOURISM To support that conviction, the advertisements include images of women shopping under tag lines such as “Boxercise Chester style - ….. the most strenuous thing you’ll be boxing in Chester is a new pair of shoes”, and women enjoying a glass of wine on a break from cycling around the county’s “picture-postcard villages.” Rural Cheshire is also playing a major role in the drive for tourists, with the promotion of farm holidays and breaks involving riding, cycling, walking, golfing, visiting country estates and gardens. “We want people to explore Cheshire as a first thought rather than North Wales,” says Barrie. “And we are working closely with rural businesses who want to develop tourism by providing tangible support and advice.” The Tourism Board has already provided help to 170 businesses. Specific initiatives include Saddle Up, a flagship project to support the equestrian sector, whose plans include the provision of off-road riding routes and support for a Cheshire/Warrington equine network. For further information: email: info@cwtb.co.uk tel: 01244 346543 www.visitchester.com

 BED AND BREAKFAST OF THE YEAR:

Walker Ground Manor, Hawkshead, Cumbria  SELF-CATERING HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR:

Combermere Abbey Cottages, Cheshire

TOP AWARD FOR CHESTER HOTEL Philip Martin, owner of Chester’s Green Bough Hotel – named in the travel pages of a national newspaper as one of 50 best winter escapes in the world – is passionate about tourism. With his wife Joyce he has fashioned the former B&B in a Victorian terrace into a luxury 15-bedroom niche hotel with champagne bar, rooftop garden and a restaurant which attracts at least 50% of non-residential diners. Their hard work was rewarded in October when the Green Bough was named as the Hotel of the Year in the second annual England’s Northwest Tourism Awards at Liverpool Hope University.

 CARAVAN PARK OF THE YEAR:

Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, Cumbria  LARGE ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR:

Manchester United Museum and Tour  SMALL ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR: Blackwell

Arts and Crafts House, Bowness, Cumbria  TOURISM WEBSITE OF THE YEAR:

Chester Zoo  EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS TOURISM:

City of Manchester Stadium  TASTE OF ENGLAND’S NORTHWEST:

London Carriage Works, Liverpool  EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE:

Brendan Moradi, Bar Lounge, Chester  TOURISM EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR:

Liverpool Biennial  ITV GRANADA GO NORTH WEST AWARD:

The Lake District Regional winners will represent the Northwest in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, organised by VisitBritain, in April 2006.


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QUALITY OF LIFE

MANCHESTER DEBUT AS FESTIVAL CITY

Virtual reality – Gorillaz as cartoon characters

Top of the pops – Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays and singer Rosie Wilson performing the No1 single ‘Dare’

The world’s first international festival to premiere original large-scale works: that’s the ambitious challenge facing the team planning for Manchester 2007. The biennial Manchester International Festival will present a series of at least ten world-premieres spanning popular culture, arts and innovation, some of which will happen over two nights, others for ten. A series of international music, one of emerging music and a third of debates will also run through the programme which is expected to attract thousands of local, national and international visitors over three weeks in June and July next year. “All the contracts will be UK-exclusive so if real fans from around the world want to see their favourite artists perform their next big work, rather than wait six months to see the work in another major city, they have got to come to Manchester,” says Festival Director Alex Poots. But why an international festival in Manchester and why now? “I asked that same question of the City Council,” says Poots who joined the festival from his recent position as Director of Contemporary Arts at the English National Opera. “They told me that after the enormous

“THEY TOLD ME THAT AFTER THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS OF THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES, THEY WANTED TO CONTINUE TO GROW THE CITY, TO ESTABLISH IT INTERNATIONALLY, AND FOR THAT THEY LOOKED TO CULTURE.” ALEX POOTS FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

Tuning in – pupils from Newall Green School, Manchester, perform live on stage with the Gorillaz

success of the Commonwealth Games, they wanted to continue to grow the city, to establish it internationally, and for that they looked to culture.” When Poots was reminded that Manchester was the first modern city forged out of the industrial revolution, he decided to create a festival of firsts. “It is ambitious and every piece of work will have spectacular elements in it – there will be some amazing successes but there may be some failures - that’s what makes it exciting,” he says. The festival will cost £5 million, over £2.5 million of which has been awarded by Manchester City Council and the Urban Cultural Programme. A further £1.8 million in sponsorship from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), United Utilities and Bruntwood announced in December represents, according to Poots, the biggest private sector sponsorship ever for a single UK festival.

FESTIVAL OF FIRSTS Poots, who spent the summer of 2002 in Manchester as Executive Producer of the BBC’s “Summer Screens” event in 10 UK cities to coincide with the World Cup and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, is also working to harness BBC radio and television festival coverage. “The festival is not about highlighting high arts against low arts – I am interested in great ideas across art forms and culture,” says Poots. “I don’t care whether it’s pop music or avant garde classical – if that artist is great at what they do, then I am interested.” He wants to build specifically on two important characteristics of Manchester: its reputation for music, from the Halle to

Factory Records and what he describes as the city’s “singular voice” in expressing opinions on important issues of our time. Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing at the NWDA, says: “It is extremely fitting that this festival is being held in England’s Northwest, which is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world.

GOOD OMEN “This festival will showcase the wealth of artistic talent, diverse culture and world-class innovation that exists both here in the region, nationally and internationally to a world-wide audience, placing the Northwest firmly on the map as a leading region for creative industries.” The success of the first of three trailblazer events, when virtual band Gorillaz played their current album Demon Days over five nights at the Manchester Opera House in November, can only be a good omen. When the band, who have previously only appeared as cartoon figures, stepped out from behind their animated characters for the first time to perform live, they attracted fans from America and Europe and rave reviews from the critics. “That event demonstrated through the work what the festival is aiming to do – its scale, focus and ambition,” says Poots. “Next year’s two events will be quite different but by the time of the third, the nation and parts of the international community will know that Manchester is about to host a festival.” For further information: email: info@manchesterinternationalfestival.com tel: Lindsey Moutrey at the Festival Office on 0161 238 7300 www.manchesterinternationalfestival.com


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NOTEBOOK

PEOPLE IN THE REGION

Corporate high fliers receive recognition Michael Oglesby, Chairman of the property company Bruntwood, took the top honour of Business Leader of the Year, at the CBI’s 2005 Northwest Business Awards at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, sponsored by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The Board of the Year award went to St. Helens’ based Pilkington plc, one of the On your marks – Lord Coe, Dr. Pauleen Lane and Andy Worthington

Region prepares for 2012 Olympic Games Sebastian Coe boosted Northwest hopes of cashing in on the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games when he visited the region to attend a conference to discuss the UK-wide opportunities that the sporting spectacular present. Lord Coe, Chair of London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) joined other key speakers in examining the potential benefits for sport, business, tourism and culture in England’s Northwest. A comprehensive benefit plan for the region is currently being developed by the

New energy champion Professor Nick Jenkins is the new Chairman of the Northwest Energy Council. He succeeds current Chairman John Roberts at a time of mounting regional, national and international interest in the development of low-carbon economies. As Professor of Energy Systems at the University of Manchester, he has significant experience in the energy field having worked in industry for 14 years on conventional and renewable energy at Wind Energy Group, BP Solar and Ewbank and Partners. He is also Director of the Joule Centre, a partnership of Northwest universities and commercial and other stakeholders, which provides support for the Northwest Energy Council. Launched in 2003, the Council aims to increase energy efficiency and encourage greater levels of renewable energy generation in the region.

glass industry’s leading innovators. It is the second time the company has won the accolade since the awards were launched in 1988. Windermere-based Lakeland Ltd, a multi-channel kitchenware retailer employing 1,200, won the title as the ‘Best Emerging Company’. Digby Jones, Director General of the CBI, presented the awards after a keynote speech.

Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Sport England. Staged at Old Trafford, which will host events in both the men and women’s football tournament, the conference attracted a number of key speakers including Dr Pauleen Lane (NWDA Board member), Jon Armstrong (LOCOG Nations and Regions Manager), Felicity Goodey (Chair of the Northwest Tourism Forum), Loyd Grossman (Chair of Culture Northwest) and Andy Worthington (Chair of NW Sport).

Farrow takes up Salford challenge Chris Farrow, who spearheaded the successful rebirth of Liverpool’s historic waterfront, is returning to the Northwest to take on another great challenge - the renaissance of Central Salford. As Chief Executive of the Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company he will oversee the delivery of the major investments projects that will turn what was the first industrial city into one of the most beautiful parts of Greater Manchester. During his time as Chief Executive of Merseyside Development Corporation in the 1990s he played a key role in regenerating the Albert Dock complex, a project that has transformed Liverpool’s visitor economy. Since 1999 he has been the Executive Director North Wales of the Welsh Development Agency where he led a team that doubled investment in the region.

Board appointments

Businesswoman Vanda Murray, UK Managing Director and Group Marketing Director for Ultraframe plc, has been appointed to the board of the NWDA. Born in Preston and now living in Macclesfield, she has a successful track record in manufacturing and the construction industries. She is currently a non-executive Director for Carillion plc and was awarded the OBE in 2002 for services to industry and export. Councillor Marie Rimmer, Leader of St. Helens Council, and Professor Maureen Williams, Chief Executive of Merseyside Development Foundation, have been reappointed as Board members.

Leader-in-waiting Doug Dickson, one of the Northwest’s leading industrialists, has been appointed regional Vice-Chairman of the CBI North West in succession to Geoff Muirhead and will take over the Chairmanship of the employers’ organisation from Lynne D’Arcy in November 2006. A Member of the Board for Manufacturing at Bentley Motors, he controls production, logistics, production-planning and purchase for all models and facilities. Prior to joining Bentley at Crewe he held a succession of influential posts at Rover.

Business accolade –Michael Oglesby (centre) receives his trophy from Digby Jones watched by James Wilson of the Financial Times

Landscape art Cheshire-born environmental sculptor Andy Goldsworthy has been commissioned to create a series of ephemeral and semi permanent artworks at Tatton Park, Cheshire, as part of a three-year landscapebased contemporary arts programme. He will be joined in the ambitious oneplace project by 12 other artists, including two from overseas, who will use various art forms including the visual arts, literature, music and architecture to explore and interpret the park’s historic, current and future landscape. oneplace has a strong educational dimension and aims to raise the profile of Tatton Park, Cheshire and the Northwest as a well-known arts destination. It also meets a number of key economic and social objectives of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Culture Northwest. The first two of the 12 residences have gone to people with Northwest links. Rob Vale, of Ramsbottom, will investigate the park landscape through film complete with a new music score, and sculptor Helen Brigham, a fine arts graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, will focus on the mansion house’s relationship with the outdoors.

New Vice Chancellor

Work of art – a landscape sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

Dr. George Holmes is the new ViceChancellor of the University of Bolton (formerly the Bolton Institute) one of the UK’s newest universities and one of fastest growing with more than 8,000 students and a 35% rise in applications last year. The university, which is renowned for its advanced and smart materials research, was awarded its new status by the Privy Council in January 2005. It can trace its origins back to the Bolton Mechanics Institute in 1824. Dr. Holmes took up his post in January after spending four years as Principal and Chief Executive of the Doncaster Education City regeneration project.


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EVENTS

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

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

For further information www.nwda.co.uk/events MARCH

9

2

Mapping out the future trends in tourism Winter Gardens, Blackpool

MAY

18

Guest speaker – Piers Morgan City of Manchester Stadium

6-10

MAY

INTERNATIONAL TRADE WEEK

MAR

Promoting new export opportunities Various Northwest Venues

Grand National – the world’s greatest steeplechase

9

INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS NORTH MAR WEST ANNUAL CONFERENCE Business leaders debate key regional issues City of Manchester Stadium

10

MAR

INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES

6-8 APR

GRAND NATIONAL

Three days of world-class steeplechasing Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool

A strategy masterclass with international strategy experts Gary Hamel and Michael Porter MICC, Manchester

28

15

28 APR COMMONWEALTH -7 MAY FILM FESTIVAL

MAR

REDEFINING SOCIAL CAPITAL

APR

RICS NORTH WEST AWARDS

Winners of the property industry ‘Oscars’ revealed Midland Hotel, Manchester

Considering the positive economic contribution of faith communities Hulme Hall, Manchester

Showcasing the best in the world cinema Various venues

30

MAY

LAUNCH OF REGIONAL

MAR ECONOMIC STRATEGY

Event for regional stakeholders Reebok Stadium, Bolton

5

11

2006 BIG DIFFERENCE AWARDS

Accolades for community improvement Palace Hotel, Manchester

FIONA MILLS Director of HR, Organisation Change & Development PETER WHITE Director of Strategy

JAMES BERRESFORD Director of Tourism

OTHER KEY EVENTS

BERNICE LAW Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Executive

FRAN HULBERT Director of Skills Policy

4

MAR

GREAT DAYS OUT FAIR

Reebok Stadium, Bolton

1-2

LANCASHIRE FOOD APR AND DRINK FESTIVAL Accrington Town Hall

15-17

CHESTER FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL Various venues

HEAD OFFICE The NWDA manages all operations from its Headquarters at:

The Agency also has offices in the sub-regions:

CHESHIRE AND WARRINGTON Brew House, Wilderspool Park, Greenalls Avenue, Warrington WA4 6HL Tel: +44 (0)1925 644 220 Fax: +44 (0)1925 644 222

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: information@nwda.co.uk

GREATER MANCHESTER Giants Basin, Potato Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4NB Tel: +44 (0)161 817 7400 Fax: +44 (0)161 831 7051

CUMBRIA Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9BP Tel: +44 (0)1768 867 294 Fax: +44 (0)1768 895 477

MERSEYSIDE Station House, Mercury Court, Tithebarn Street, Liverpool L2 2QP Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)151 236 3731

LANCASHIRE 13 Winckley Street, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2AA Tel: +44 (0)1772 206 000 Fax: +44 (0)1772 200 049

APR

INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS MAY NORTH WEST ANNUAL DINNER Guest speaker – broadcaster, Jeremy Vine Mere Golf and Country Club, Cheshire

MARK HUGHES Executive Director, Enterprise and Innovation

STEVEN BROOMHEAD Chief Executive

2006 VISA PARALYMPIC MAY WORLD CUP Global centrepiece for athleteswith disability Various venues, Manchester

PETER MEARNS Director of Marketing

Rewarding the region’s most enterprising people Mere Golf and Country Club, Cheshire

1-7

APRIL

APR

ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS

IAN HAYTHORNTHWAITE Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Resources

Reebok Stadium – one of the region’s favourite venues

PRINT STOCK: Cover: Challenger Laser Matt is totally chlorine free and acquired only from suppliers operating sustainable forest reserves. Text: Cyclus offset is manufactured using only 100% recycled post consumer waste.

Designed and produced by Kaleidoscope ADM, Liverpool. www.kadm.co.uk NWDA KADM 03/06 19695

GREATER MANCHESTER CHAMBER MAR OF COMMERCE ANNUAL DINNER

REGIONAL TOURISM CONFERENCE

The NWDA’s Executive Team are based at its Headquarters and can be contacted on tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100


discover how the northwest shaped the modern world

discover the northwest’s pioneers www.industrialpowerhouse.co.uk Inspirational ideas for days out across the Northwest. Discover all the latest details about Powerhouse attractions, trails, tours and special events online.

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/315_Issue_8  

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/315_Issue_8.pdf

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