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Annual Review 2006-2007

July 2007


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Contents Annual Review 2006-07

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Foreword

2

The Northwest Economy

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Business

6

Skills and Employment

8

People and Jobs

10

Infrastructure

12

Quality of Life

15

Policy & Performance

16

Highlights of the NWDA Business Plan

17

Board & Executive

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Foreword Annual Review 2006-07

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has a bold ambition for the region – to build on our strengths, seize new opportunities and grow our £106 billion economy. The last seven years have taught us much about how to achieve this in a sustainable way. One of the most crucial lessons is that investing in significant transformational projects has the most impact on our economy and this is increasingly where we and our partners are focusing our attention. Last year saw significant progress on many of the transformational actions identified in the five themes of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) – Business, Skills & Education, People & Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The digital and creative industries sector has the potential to be a key driver of growth for the Northwest. The development of mediacity:uk at Salford Quays, including the BBC’s decision to move 1,500 jobs to the site, was a major boost for the sector and will cement Greater Manchester’s reputation as a hub for worldclass creative industries. The development will define the Northwest as a global centre for media and creative industries, employing 15,500 people and adding £200 million annually to the regional economy. Another important development was the launch of Business Link Northwest in April 2007. The new service is providing the region’s businesses with a primary access point for business support and a more efficient, consistent and targeted service. Enabling companies to access the support that they need is essential and we are confident that the new service will deliver high quality, appropriate advice. Improving the provision of Higher Education for young people across the region is essential. In 2006/7, progress has continued on two major developments - the new University of Cumbria, which opens its doors to students in September, and a new campus and University Centre for East Lancashire. For a number of years, partners have been working hard to build a stronger Higher Education framework for Cumbria and East Lancashire; both developments will help to retain our talented young people in the region.

The RES recognised that the city-regions of Manchester, Liverpool and Central Lancashire, drive our economy. There are also other areas with acute needs. In Blackpool, new solutions are needed to support the town’s regeneration and economic growth. Following the regional casino decision, our commitment to the town’s development is an even greater priority. I am pleased that the NWDA, Government Office for the North West and ReBlackpool, have been asked by Government to secure Blackpool's future regeneration. The task force will be working hard to examine Blackpool’s economic, social and environmental plans and develop innovative long-term solutions. Economic growth relies on effective transport and communications networks, together with high-quality employment sites and sustainable uses for brownfield land. Strong progress has been made on key business sites including Kingsway in Greater Manchester and Luneside in Lancaster, while the £23 million Newlands programme is helping to transform brownfield land across the Northwest. The RES emphasises the importance of our Quality of Life – our culture and image, communities and environment. Culture is taking centre stage with the fourth Liverpool Biennial last Autumn and good progress on both the Manchester International Festival and Liverpool as European Capital of Culture. As Liverpool begins the countdown to its 2008 celebrations with its 800th birthday in 2007, we must work together to seize the opportunity to showcase both Liverpool and the Northwest to the UK and overseas. The Agency will be working closely with the Culture Company to make the most of the economic benefits it provides for the whole region. The growing emphasis on climate change and our environment was a key priority during 2006/7 and will continue to be so. The NWDA is working hard with its partners to address the causes and respond to the £30 billion opportunity that climate change offers British business over the next ten years. In November 2006 the region launched its Climate Change Action Plan, designed to maximise the positive impact of environmental change and ensure that we understand both the risks and the opportunities for the environmental technologies sector. Over the coming year the Agency will be playing a full part in ensuring that the Action Plan delivers real progress for the region. The RES is now widely recognised as the blueprint for the Northwest’s sustainable future. I would like to thank everyone for their efforts and encourage continued enthusiastic and vigorous support.

Bryan M Gray, Chairman


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The Northwest Economy Regional Overview 2006-07 The performance of the Northwest economy has been steadily improving since 2000. Between 2000 and 2005 the economy grew by £22 billion (27%) and the Northwest is now a £106 billion (2005) economy, the third largest in the country, with over 242,000 businesses. The latest economic data shows that the Northwest economy continues to grow. In 2005 economic growth (GVA growth) in the region was 3.7%, compared with 3.9% in the UK, reducing the growth gap with the UK to just 0.2%. Since the turn of the Millennium the Northwest and UK have shown significant economic growth each year, peaking in 2004 at 5.7% (GVA growth) in the Northwest and 6.0% in the UK. However, economic growth has recently slowed right across the UK, with GVA returning to levels similar to 2000. The slowdown across the UK is partly explained by a decline in growth in financial and business services which has become a pillar of the UK and Northwest economy. Manufacturing growth across the UK also fell in 2005 but this sector continues to be an asset and economic driver for the Northwest economy, outperforming the UK as a whole. Encouragingly, stronger forecasted growth in financial services and manufacturing should help growth figures for 2006/07. Migration has become a major national and international issue and, as with the rest of the country, the Northwest has seen a major influx of people from Eastern Europe. The region accounted for 7.4% of the UK’s migration in 2005/2006, increasing the size of the region’s working age population. The Northwest continues to experience significant structural changes as the region, in-line with the UK, shifts from the manufacturing to the service sector, in terms of economic output and employment share. The service sector now accounts for over 73% of regional GVA, having accounted for 64% ten years ago.

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Available at www.nwda.co.uk/res

Good progress has been made on Transformational Actions within the Northwest Regional Economic Strategy which will have a major impact on the performance of our economy. We have recently published the RES Baseline Report which shows the progress we are making on the key priorities after one year *. These include the new Business Link Service which has now been transformed into a high quality, targeted, regional service and the BBC’s confirmation of their move North into mediacity:uk, kick-starting the first purpose built media city development in the UK, which will deliver £1 billion in additional net value over five years to the regional economy. The Northwest has continued to develop its reputation as a strong global leader in the biomedical sector. AstraZeneca confirmed plans to invest £63.5 million in a new Process Research and Development Laboratory at the Macclesfield site, next door to the company’s largest research and development facility in the world. The Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus was officially opened with the completion of Daresbury Innovation Centre and the Cockcroft Institute following £50 million investment from the NWDA. In Liverpool the National Biomanufacturing Centre, a £30 million project developed by the NWDA for product development and early stage biopharmaceutical manufacturing, was officially opened in 2006. Whilst in Manchester the £25 million Core Technology Facility was opened, providing grow-on space and specialist service provision for biotechnology companies moving on from the successful Manchester Biotechnology Incubator. In 2008 Liverpool will become the European Capital of Culture and in preparation the city centre is witnessing a major regeneration programme focussed on long term sustainable economic growth. Alongside major infrastructure improvements the £900 million Liverpool One development by Grosvenor will create the largest mixed leisure and retail development in Europe, reinvigorating Liverpool into one of the premier retail locations in the UK. Manchester is also seeing continuing private sector led investment including the recently completed Beetham Tower (£150 million), the tallest residential building in the EU.


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Business Annual Review 2006-07

Developing an enterprise culture The implementation of key transformational actions within the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) has been the main focus of the Agency’s business activity throughout the year.

enterprise culture and reducing unemployment in the borough from 22% to 4% over the past 20 years. As part of the competition, the borough was awarded an Agency grant to further stimulate enterprise activity.

One critical project to get underway was the streamlining of business support, and a key milestone in this area was the development and launch of Business Link Northwest. The new service will provide a high-quality, consistent and targeted service for businesses. Importantly, it will provide more customer facing brokers in key sectors to support regional economic growth.

Recognising the important contribution that social enterprises make to the regional economy, the Agency has introduced an active programme of support for the sector. The Agency has provided investment to take forward the development and implementation of action plans for Social Enterprise Partnerships in each sub-region, targeted at developing new market opportunities.

Promoting an enterprise culture, particularly amongst the region’s young people, plays an important role in nurturing future talent for the Northwest. During the year, the Agency supported a number of initiatives to raise the profile of enterprise including ‘The Next Big Thing’, an event held as part of National Enterprise Week, aimed at inspiring young people to turn their business ideas into reality.

The Agency has also continued support for the Ethnic Minority Business Forum North West (EMBF NW) throughout the year. The Forum acts as the key policy and strategic body responsible for the development of sustainable Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) businesses in the Northwest and has the overarching responsibility for shaping, challenging and informing regional economic and enterprise policy development and practice.

Knowsley was also named the Northwest regional winner of the Enterprising Britain 2006 competition, following its success in developing a grassroots 1.

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1. The Next Big Thing event


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Business Annual Review 2006-07

Growing key regional sectors Support for key sectors with high growth potential, including creative industries, biomedical, food and drink, and advanced engineering and materials, continues to be a goal for the Agency. Greater Manchester’s reputation as a hub for world-class creative industries has been strengthened this year with significant progress towards mediacity:uk at Salford Quays, another transformational action in the RES. The development is set to employ 15,500 people and add £200 million every year to the regional economy. Central to the project is the BBC’s agreement to move 1,500 jobs from London to Salford, creating the largest BBC presence outside of London. The Agency’s intervention is placing the region at the cutting edge of biopharmaceutical progress. Following a £23 million investment by the NWDA and the Objective One programme, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s new Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases has been officially toppedout. The facility has since levered in a further $73 million from the Gates’ Foundation and is attracting scientists from around the world, maintaining the School’s position as a leading research institute.

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Another project adding to the region’s growing importance in worldwide biotechnology is the National Biomanufacturing Centre at Speke, which was also opened this year. The £34 million centre, which was made possible with funding from the NWDA, the Objective One programme and the DTI, provides expertise to support new and existing biotechnology companies and is poised to lead the next wave of biopharmaceutical development. As part of the business simplification agenda, a new organisation to support the food and drink sector in the region was established this year. Food Northwest, which draws together the expertise of the Northwest Food Alliance and Northwest Fantastic Foods Partnership, will focus on priority areas including market development, productivity and sustainable farming and food. The Agency is reinforcing the reputation of the region as a major player in the aerospace sector with investment support for a major research and development programme at BAE Systems, Warton. The initiative forms part of the ASTRAEA programme, which aims to put the UK at the heart of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology.


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Encouraging scientific excellence The Northwest is increasingly recognised as a centre of global excellence for scientific and medical research. Building on this success, an important milestone was the launch of the new Northwest Science Strategy, which aims to ensure that the region can meet the science and technology needs of regional businesses. Another achievement was the official opening of the flagship Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, which received £50 million investment from the Agency, and the launch of the Cockcroft Institute, the national centre for accelerator science. The development of this strategic national site reinforces Daresbury’s future as one of the UK’s two premier science and innovation campuses.

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Driving forward innovation is a major focus for the Northern Way, which has launched a major new partnership in this area. Harnessing expertise from the North’s eight researchintensive universities, the N8 initiative will develop pioneering research in energy, sustainable water use, ageing and health related issues, regenerative medicine and molecular engineering, where the North has the potential to become a world leader.

Increasing competitiveness and investment Foreign-owned companies gave the Northwest economy a major boost in 2006/07 by investing in over 138 inward investment projects, 26 more than the previous year, and creating or safeguarding over 7,500 jobs, according to figures released by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). The Agency supported UKTI in assisting 107 companies to become new exporters and a further 155 to enter new markets. Capitalising on the increasing confidence in the Northwest as an international business location, the Agency has developed the Northwest Internationalisation Strategy. The plan is an ambitious, integrated approach to international trade and is set to further boost the Northwest's global profile whilst building on the strong and enabling relationship we have with UKTI. Working in partnership, the Agency has also supported a number of investment projects through the Selective Finance for Investment scheme (SFI). Key projects include a grant for Blackburn-based manufacturing company PPE, enabling them to invest in state-of-the-art machinery and to streamline production. A further SFI grant of £480,000 was invested in AMR Textiles Ltd, towards the cost of a new plant and equipment enabling the company to increase capacity and develop new products, creating 27 new jobs and safeguard a further 37 jobs at their factory in Bolton.

Driving forward sustainability Climate change is a critical issue for the region and the NWDA is working hard with its partners to address the causes of climate change and respond to the £30 billion opportunity that it presents British business over the next ten years. Last year saw the launch of the region’s Climate Change Action Plan, which highlights key priorities for action to ensure the region is prepared for the challenges of a changing climate. With energy efficiency and waste disposal both major issues for the region, the Agency is continuing to assist Northwest businesses in reducing waste and managing their resources

more efficiently. Through the BREW Northwest programme, the Agency is supporting Environment Connect, a new service providing a single point of contact for a variety of environmental business services. The service will help Northwest companies save £3 million every year through improved environmental performance. Reinforcing the important area of energy research and development is the Joule Centre, an international centre for energy research which has been developed by the Agency and Northwest universities. Projects underway include an investigation into the region’s available tidal power resources.

1. The mediacity:uk development at Salford Quays 2. Science and Innovation in England’s Northwest


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Skills and Education Annual Review 2006-07

Investing in workforce development As the lead Regional Development Agency for employment, skills and higher education, we continue to drive forward a number of programmes to build a skilled workforce relevant to the needs of business and industry. In July 2006 the Agency, working with Business Link Northwest, secured the contract for the regional Skills Brokerage Service delivered under the Train to Gain brand in the Northwest. The service, designed to help businesses identify their workforce training needs and link these with training and learning providers, marks the beginning of a new and more dynamic way of identifying comprehensive solutions to the business and skills requirements of employers.

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The Leitch Review, published in December 2006, identified a greater future emphasis on knowledge-based jobs. In response to this, the Agency and its partners are investing heavily to ensure that the region is able to compete internationally and become a world leader for skills. Initiatives being pioneered in this area include the ÂŁ19 million Nuclear Academy in Cumbria, an NWDA-funded project which will help to identify and improve standards and training throughout nuclear industries across the UK and will form part of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear. This provides visible support to the emerging West Cumbria Masterplan which will ensure we capitalise on the legacies and the opportunities of the nuclear industry. With construction now underway, the Academy is set to become a world-class centre of excellence in terms of nuclear decommissioning and energy production.


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Delivering the skills required by priority sectors is essential to support their growth. In the Northwest, the Agency is working closely on the development of skills academies for food and drink, construction, manufacturing and financial services, which aim to tackle skills shortages in these sectors. Additional support is also being provided to ensure the important digital and creative sector is equipped to capitalise on Salford’s mediacity:uk development.

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Enabling Northern businesses to access world-class knowledge remains a significant objective for the Northern Way, which is driving forward the Northern Leadership Academy, a £5 million project to strengthen leadership across the North. The Academy has already published its first set of principles of leadership development, the first in a series to address the issues and requirements facing leadership development in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

1. The Train to Gain Project 2. The Nuclear Academy in West Cumbria 3. Skills academies for food and drink

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4. University Centre for Burnley College

Developing educational infrastructure A number of significant projects have been supported by the Agency throughout the year to develop greater links between business and Higher Education (HE) and encourage universities and colleges to play a larger role in the regional economy. Key transformational actions for skills development identified within the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) have also taken major steps forward. A major development in this area includes the new University of Cumbria, which opens its doors to its first students in September 2007. The new university is expected to recruit 15,000 students on opening day, a figure which will rise to 20,000 in the next ten years, and will be critical to retaining talent in the region. Education in Lancashire has also received a significant boost, following a £9.9 million investment by the Agency for a new state-of-the-art campus and University Centre for Burnley College. The investment will help to build a stronger Higher Education framework for East Lancashire by promoting enterprise and entrepreneurialism, as well as making education provision more responsive to local business needs.

4. Meanwhile, in Cheshire, construction on a £38 million worldclass education campus is underway, which will transform education opportunities for 14 – 19 year-olds in the area. Macclesfield Learning Zone will provide a high quality education service to address the needs of local businesses, as well as housing a flagship Centre of Vocational Excellence for aerospace engineering. Warrington Collegiate's Winwick Road campus also opened its doors to students this year. The NWDA invested £5 million in the £27 million facility which is a state of the art learning resource offering skills training and qualifications across a range of disciplines. It supports the ‘Invest in Success’ strategy of the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance (CWEA).


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People & Jobs Annual Review 2006-07

Transforming the region The Agency has made considerable progress throughout the year to ensure that focused and integrated regeneration plans are developed across the Northwest which reflect regional and sub-regional strategic priorities. The regeneration of the region’s towns and cities remains a priority in driving forward economic growth and across the region’s urban areas, the Agency continues to work with Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) in implementing masterplans for the transformation of their areas. In Liverpool, investor demand is driving capital growth faster than any other provincial city, not least due to the high quality retail, leisure, office, residential and public realm schemes which are transforming the city centre. One such project is the regeneration of the Hope Street area of the city, where a £2.9 million scheme, part-funded by the Agency, has helped to lift the quality of Liverpool’s cultural quarter. East Manchester’s physical, economic and social renewal continues, with a mid-term evaluation of New East Manchester (NEM) activities showing that East Manchester has ‘added value’ to the economic success of the city centre over the past decade. NEM’s key achievements to date include the construction of more than 3,400 new homes with a further 6,000 in the pipeline - and the creation or safeguarding of more than 3,000 jobs. In Salford, plans to transform the Chapel Street corridor of the city are taking shape, following Agency support to regenerate land for development. The scheme, which will be delivered by Central Salford URC, aims to encourage new employment opportunities in, or near to, deprived communities.

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In Lancashire, the Agency is working with ReBlackpool URC by providing strategic leadership to secure Blackpool’s economic future. Key Agency-funded projects completed or underway in the resort include an upgrade of the Central Seafront area, supported by a £12 million NWDA investment, and an additional £9 million funding for the creation of an urban park along the gateway into the resort. In addition, the Agency and partners have established a regeneration taskforce for Blackpool, with a clear focus on examining the economic, social and environmental development plans for the area. Through West Lakes Renaissance, the Agency is implementing a number of programmes to regenerate communities, encourage new business opportunities and enhance skills in West Cumbria and Furness. In Workington and Maryport, a £14.5 million investment by the Agency will provide key public realm improvements, expand Maryport Harbour and examine the development potential of the former Corus steelworks. In Barrow, plans for the £60 million redevelopment of Barrow Port are progressing well, with key site acquisitions having taken place this year. In Cheshire, a £4 million investment by the Agency is facilitating a number of environmental improvement and infrastructure schemes to create new business and employment opportunities within Ellesmere Port’s Economic Development Zone. The investment is expected to attract other public and private sector development and local employment initiatives.


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Providing economic leadership The NWDA has been using its strategic influence to improve the economic prospects of West Cumbria through the development of a spatial masterplan, which will act as a blueprint for future investment priorities in the area. Jointly funded by the Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the plan is designed to counter the effect of job losses through decommissioning and aims to establish West Cumbria as a centre for energy technology and innovation. The Agency also continued to strengthen its relationship with Sub-Regional Partnerships (SRPs) throughout the year to ensure the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) is supported at a sub-regional and local level. Key action plans are now in place for each SRP, which identify the priorities for improving the economic performance of each sub-region.

The three city regions of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Central Lancashire are key growth drivers of the Northwest, with the potential to lift the long-term economic growth of the region. Activity to deliver the second round of City Region Development Plans is already well underway, following their submisson to the Northern Way in September 2006. This supports the policy debate and discussions which have taken place as part of the government’s subnational review of the optimum arrangements for spatial intervention in economic development. In other areas of work, the Northern Way is also continuing to pioneer initiatives to improve employability and provide targeted training support for the unemployed, helping to deliver skills required by employers. Liverpool and Birkenhead are the latest areas to benefit from a programme to drive down the number of people claiming incapacity benefit and improve career prospects.

Strengthening rural communities Supporting the ongoing growth of the rural economy remains a priority for the Agency, which is working to provide new economic opportunities for rural communities and businesses. In Cheshire, the NWDA-supported Rural Enterprise Programme has already exceeded all of its targets ahead of schedule, investing over £10 million in the local economy, supporting the establishment of 115 new businesses and creating or safeguarding over 1,200 jobs. The region’s Market Town Initiative continues to deliver social and community regeneration by raising rural living standards and attracting investment, with over £11 million

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invested by the NWDA to date. In Barnoldswick (Lancashire) the creation of an enterprise centre will create 20 new jobs and lever in a further £440,000 public funds, while in Millom (Cumbria) a new network centre is providing a range of facilities to support local enterprise and start-up businesses. Across the region, a valuable service assisting rural businesses with their development proposals has received a further 3 years investment by the NWDA. The Rural Planning Facilitation Service, which will create 220 new jobs, 45 new farm-based enterprises and 50 other businesses, will also lever in an additional £1.5 million of private sector investment.

1. Development at Barrow-inFurness 2. Blackpool development plans 3. The Market Town Initiative


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Infrastructure Annual Review 2006-07

Determining priorities

1. Improving the region’s transport and infrastructure remains an investment, planning and lobbying priority for the Agency, which continues to use its strategic influence to ensure that regional spatial, transport and housing priorities are aligned to the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). Working in partnership with the North West Regional Assembly and Government Office for the North West (GONW), the NWDA is building on advice set out to government in the Regional Funding Allocations, a key document which sets out agreed housing, transport and economic development priorities for the region. A significant milestone was the announcement of the

Department for Transport’s 10-year transport programme for the Northwest, which saw schemes including Manchester’s Metrolink expansion and the Mersey Gateway receive vital government support. Intra-regional connectivity, as well as links to other regions in the UK, Europe and the world, remain vital in improving access for businesses, people and goods. Through the £6.5 million Air Services Development Fund Alternative Measures programme, the Agency is helping to support growth, attract new carriers and improve international connectivity at Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool airports.

Investing in new landscapes The regeneration of brownfield land to increase the value of the region’s thriving natural environment is a key priority for the Agency. Throughout the year, the NWDA’s £23 million Newlands programme has transformed sites at Bidston Moss (Wirral) and Moston Vale (North Manchester) into new community woodland, with additional investment at Brockholes (Preston) set to create a landmark centre of excellence for recreation and wildife.

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In Lancashire, the Agency’s investment in the REMADE land regeneration programme is breathing new life into sites at Haslingden, Accrington and Fishwick Nature Reserve, while across Cumbria local communities in Barrow, Carlisle, Maryport and Workington will benefit from new and upgraded open spaces and comprehensive cycle networks, following a £4.8 million Agency investment.

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Creating high quality business locations A number of strategically important employment sites across the region have been developed this year, creating jobs and attracting significant private sector investment.

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Infrastructure works at the Agecroft Commerce Park, a former Salford colliery site, are now complete, with several major companies having already relocated their business to the site. In Greater Manchester, Kingsway’s growing reputation as a business location has been reinforced, with the majority of the first phase of the £350 million project expected to be allocated over the next 12 months. Luneside East’s redevelopment has taken a visible step forward following demolition works and the drawing up of detailed proposals for the final development of the site. The project will bring much-needed affordable housing to the area, as well as contribute to Lancaster’s riverside commercial and leisure offer. Work is also underway at key employment sites on Edge Lane, Liverpool, where a £4.6 million NWDA investment is supporting the development of Liverpool Innovation Park. The £10 million scheme, which aims to attract investment from businesses in the science, technology, digital, creative and IT sectors, are

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expected to generate 1,000 jobs for the area. In other improvements to the area, the NWDA-owned former Littlewoods building is currently being transformed into apartments, commercial space and a hotel, as part of a £65 million scheme by property experts Urban Splash. 4.

Widnes Waterfront’s regeneration also continues, following a £5.6 million investment by the Agency to bring over eighty hectares of derelict land back into productive commercial and tourism use, creating 2,700 new jobs and levering in an additional £70 million investment from the private sector. To enable the Agency to focus on further opportunities to bring forward strategic employment sites, the public-private partnership NorwePP was launched by the NWDA and Ashtenne Industrial Fund (AIF) in December 2006. The joint venture will maximise the growth potential of the Agency’s portfolio of commercial property, particularly in providing accommodation for companies to create employment within the region.

1. Manchester International Airport 2. Bidston Moss, Wirral 3. Moston Vale, North Manchester 4. Littlewoods Building, Edge Lane 5. Kingsway


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Quality of Life Annual Review 2006-07

Developing cultural appeal England’s Northwest is becoming increasingly recognised at both national and international level as one of the most artistic and culturally dynamic regions in Europe. As Liverpool begins the countdown to its European Capital of Culture celebrations, the Agency is working closely with the 1. Liverpool Culture Company on marketing the city, and the Northwest, to the UK and overseas. Helping to maximise the impact of Capital of Culture are complementary programmes being run by the sub-regional Tourist Boards, including Cheshire’s Year of Gardens and Taste Lancashire ‘08. Liverpool’s reputation for culture and the arts was reinforced as the Liverpool Biennial, supported by the Agency, continued to go from strength to strength with over 400,000 visitors to the event in 2006 – an increase of 50,000 on 2004. Elsewhere in the region, the world’s first international festival of original new work, Manchester International Festival, is expected to attract thousands of local, national and international visitors. The Agency is a major sponsor of the Festival, which was launched in 2006 with a series of trailblazer events.

Strategic tourism leadership With the Northwest’s tourism industry valued at almost £11 billion, it is essential to ensure that the region is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the market’s changing nature. To reinforce the region’s competitive edge, this year the Agency published a reviewed Tourism Strategy and developed a regional Business Tourism Strategy. The region’s reputation for excellence was bolstered further when the Northwest went on to win a record-breaking four Gold accolades in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2007. Encouraging visitors and investment to the region and showcasing the very best of the Northwest’s offer continues to pay dividends. An Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by the Agency, revealed upbeat trends in the perceptions of the region as a place to live, work, visit and do business, with 35% of British people living outside the region associating the Northwest with success, a 13% increase from 2001. 1. Liverpool 08 programme launch 2. Manchester International Festival 3. Miss Potter 4. The Manchester Square event 5. Maximising the benefits of the 2012 Olympics

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Marketing the region The Agency is continuing to exploit a number of themes with clear market potential in order to capitalise on the region’s distinct range of experiences and to encourage visitors. The eyes of the golfing world fell on Hoylake in July 2006, as the Open Championship returned to the region, showcasing England’s Northwest to an international audience and generating over £4.2 million of coverage in UK newspapers alone. Agency-supported initiatives to capitalise on the economic benefits of the event included a visitor guide providing tourist information for the 200,000 visitors to the Open, and an ‘England’s Golf Coast’ marketing campaign.

Efforts to secure sport, business, culture and tourism benefits generated by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games also continued throughout the year. In July 2006, a UK-wide Olympics Roadshow held its tour finale in the Northwest, showcasing the potential benefits that 2012 presents the region.

Visitor marketing campaigns have been launched to highlight the region’s cultural assets and natural environment. The Agency challenged London’s position as the arts capital of the UK by profiling some of the best artistic work from the region at ‘Exposed’, a one-off showcase event at Manchester Square, London, which attracted major figures in the arts and culture scene. With the Lake District at the heart of the Beatrix Potter biopic, Miss Potter, the Agency has also focused attention on promoting the Northwest’s stunning natural environment and encouraging visitors to discover the beauty of the area, and the region. The Northwest continues to be successful in attracting major events which help to project a positive image of the region to an international audience. Major events secured for 2007 include the WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament and the Dunlop British Open (Squash). Events supported by the Agency in the past year generated £18 million for the region.

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Improving the visitor experience With estimates suggesting that the heritage tourism market could be worth as much as £3 billion to the region, support is essential to capture the economic benefits. The £1 million Heritage Tourism Improvement Scheme, funded by a partnership including the NWDA and English Heritage, has encouraged heritage attractions to improve educational activities, disabled access and interpretive facilities. On Merseyside, efforts to spearhead the second phase of the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park have stepped up following additional investment of almost £18 million from the NWDA and the European Regional Development Fund. Ambitious plans include the creation of Liverpool Riverlands urban park, a waterbased recreation centre at Crosby, a comprehensive resort redevelopment at New Brighton and a new ferry terminal at Pier Head. Elsewhere, the Agency is working with the regional tourist boards on developing tourism products to grow the visitor economy. Key proposals include masterplans for Chester Zoo, Blackpool and Lowther Castle and Gardens.

Investing in communities and the environment With over £24 billion of public money spent each year on regeneration and economic renewal in the Northwest, the ‘Places Matter!’ programme is working to raise the quality of the region’s built environment. A regional design review service supporting public and private sector developers in driving up quality forms part of the scheme, which is being led by RENEW Northwest. 1.

Developing regeneration skills also forms a key part of RENEW Northwest’s programme. Working alongside the Academy for Sustainable Communities and local partners, the organisation is helping to identify regeneration skills gaps through Fusion – The Pennine Lancashire Learning Laboratory.

1. RENEW’s Places Matter! programme 2. Liverpool waterfront

2.


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Policy & Performance Following the Agency’s ‘Performing Strongly’, the highest possible rating in its Independent Performance Assessment in 2006, an Improvement Plan was agreed with the National Audit Office focused on actions to address areas of development. The Agency has made good progress on these and reviews their delivery through Quarterly Business Plan Monitoring Reports. By the end of 2006/07, the Agency had implemented the majority of identified actions, with those remaining included in the 2007/08 Business Plan. Evaluation of the Agency’s activity is vital to improve future delivery of projects and inform future investment decisions. The Agency reports on a series of targets set by Central Government and all our targets for 2006/07 have been met or exceeded. The Agency has also launched a new Evaluation Strategy and drawn up a comprehensive evaluation plan for projects and programmes. In addition, the Agency is working in partnership with other RDAs and Central Government to identify and share effective practice, which will ensure evaluation findings effectively influence regional and national policy development and implementation. Working with our partner RDAs, Yorkshire Forward and One Northeast, we have also continued to focus on the Northern Way. In 2006/07, a review of Northern Way priorities ensured a greater focus on major projects that will have the most impact across the North and three areas were prioritised for activity – transport, innovation in industry and levering in more private sector investment.

Progress on the RES Progress on the transformational actions in the RES was significant in 2006/07 with the foundation blocks to deliver some major projects clearly in place. The development of mediacity:uk at Salford Quays, Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus and Business Link Northwest all took significant steps forward in 2006/07. Much activity in the year focused on getting the first steps towards key priorities in place. We now have specific actions plans agreed by the region for Science, Internationalisation, Climate Change and Equality & Diversity and it is now critical that the region works together to deliver the specific actions identified by the plans. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve our ambitions. The key issue to address is that the region's productivity growth remains slower than the UK average and, unless this can be improved, the output gap (GVA per head) is likely to widen. Part of the reason for this lower productivity is historic and based on occupational employment structure. More recently, relative prices in the Northwest have not increased as quickly as prices in London and the Southeast which also contributes to this element of the gap. The GVA gap is a long term trend and will be challenging to reverse in the short term. However, we now have a much more detailed understanding of why the gap exists and what can be done to influence it. The major activities identified in the RES also clearly have an associated time lag to be delivered and to influence economic growth and GVA data. The basic principles in the RES of identifying the major projects that have the biggest impact and delivering these must continue to guide our priorities.


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Highlights of NWDA Business Plan 2007/08 Strategic Priorities

People and Jobs

Ensure the economic priorities set out in the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) are fully aligned with other key regional strategies.

Support the development of the City Employment Strategies for Liverpool, Manchester and Blackburn.

Support the National Skills Academy for Nuclear.

Ensure the Agency is fully engaged in, and influences, national policy relevant to the Northwest, including the CSR 2007.

Continue to support the West Cumbria, Barrow and Blackpool Masterplans.

Implement plans for the long-term development of SubRegional Partnerships (SRPs) and City Regions.

Develop key transformational programmes in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston.

Undertake a review of the Northern Way priorities.

Ensure the successful transfer of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme to the NWDA.

Work with partners to develop proposals for economic investment for regional growth towns including Crewe, Chester, Warrington, Lancaster and Carlisle.

Lead the development and delivery of the Northwest Equality and Diversity Strategy.

Agree the NWDA’s rural policy and development plan and future rural investment priorities.

Deliver further efficiencies in the Agency’s overheads to maximise investment in the region, and prioritise evaluation of programmes.

Business •

Deliver Business Link Northwest as the prime access point for businesses and individuals seeking business support.

Launch a Northwest Enterprise Forum to provide a coordinated approach to promoting enterprise.

Drive growth in priority sectors, including Food & Drink, Digital & Creative, Financial and Professional Services.

Implement the delivery of mediacity:uk, including the relocation of key BBC departments.

Infrastructure •

Deliver the Agency’s input to implementation of strategic regional transport priorities.

Respond to the Regional Funding Allocations priorities.

Prepare a forward programme for prioritised investment in Strategic Regional Sites.

Agree and implement a revised approach to land regeneration activity.

Quality of Life •

Deliver a targeted national and international programme to promote the region’s credentials as a place to visit and invest in.

Develop and launch a new strategy for Manufacturing Northwest.

Implement key major events including Manchester International Festival and the Turner Prize.

Support the Northwest Science Council and implement the review of major Science Fund projects.

Deliver the region’s Internationalisation Strategy and Action Plan.

Prepare the benefits framework for London 2012 and develop the Northwest Skills and Volunteering plan and Training Camp facilities.

Complete the Climate Change Action Plan and agree regional carbon reduction targets.

Implement a range of measures to maximise the regional opportunities of European Capital of Culture.

Support the delivery of development proposals for Chester Zoo and Lowther Castle.

Deliver the Natural Economy programme.

Skills and Education •

Identify the skills needs required by priority sectors.

Support development of the current workforce by influencing progression from Further to Higher Education and ensure the effectiveness of the National Skills Academies.

Develop a Northwest Leadership and Management Action Plan, working with the Northern Leadership Academy.

Implement the University of Cumbria and Burnley Higher Education projects.


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Board & Executive Annual Review 2006-07

The Board

Executive

Bryan Gray MBE DL (Chairman)

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive

Professor Sir Martin Harris CBE DL (Deputy Chairman) David Brockbank

Bernice Law, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Chief Executive

Joseph Dwek CBE Peter Hensman Cllr Dr Pauleen Lane CBE Dave McCall Cllr John Merry Professor John Moverley OBE Vanda Murray OBE

Ian Haythornthwaite, Executive Director, Corporate Resources Mark Hughes, Executive Director, Enterprise, Innovation & Skills Peter White, Executive Director, Infrastructure & Development

Cllr Marie Rimmer CBE Anil Ruia OBE JP LLB ACA

James Berresford, Director of Tourism

Brenda Smith Cllr Mike Storey CBE Professor Maureen Williams The Board meets 11 times a year and has 9 formal committees and sub-committees.

Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing & Communications Fiona Mills, Director of HR, Organisational Change & Development Patrick White, Director of Policy

Annual Public Meeting The Agency’s annual conference and AGM will be held on 18th October 2007 at Manchester Central Convention Complex, to review our performance and contribution to the region during 2006/07. The Agency’s Annual Report and Accounts will also be available at this time.


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This document can be made available in the following languages: Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Somali, Urdu and Hindi. Please contact the Marketing Department on 01925 400 100

This document can be made available in large print, braille and audio tape. Please contact the Marketing Department on 01925 400 100

The Northwest Regional Development Agency PO Box 37 Renaissance House Centre Park Warrington WA1 1XB Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400

www.nwda.co.uk www.englandsnorthwest.com www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com

Printed on Zanders Mega Matt

June 2007 NWDA H5-19

/AnnualReview0607  

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/AnnualReview0607.pdf

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