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Annual Review 2009/10


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Contents 3 Foreword 4 This year’s key achievements

6 Business 12 People 16 Place

22 Policy and performance 23 Highlights of the Business Plan 2009-10 24 Board and Executive 25 Information

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Supporting the region in challenging times During the 2009/10 year, the Agency’s strategic role in providing clear, coordinated and timely economic support to the region has been crucial whether that’s through supporting existing businesses, encouraging new start-ups, improving workforce skills, or stepping in on key development schemes at risk of stalling. Our first priority has been to maintain a close dialogue with businesses to ensure that quick, flexible and tailored support is in place to help them through the downturn. In addition, we have also played an instrumental role in helping key development projects stay on track, bringing forward investment of £20m to ensure long-term regeneration and economic growth was not put at risk. Of course, the region faced other significant challenges this year including the Cumbria floods in November 2009, which had a sudden and severe impact on both businesses and communities in an already tough economic climate. Working with local partners, the Agency quickly put in place an investment and support package to help businesses get back on their feet, providing our first grants just 14 days after launching the Flood Recovery Grant scheme. As you will no doubt be aware, the Regional Development Agencies are in a period of transition. Recently, the Emergency Budget confirmed the coalition Government’s intention to replace RDAs, and to encourage the development of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This process will begin with a White Paper to be published in the autumn.

We understand that in those regions where a regional approach to economic development is supported by businesses and local authorities, proposals on that basis will be welcome. In the Northwest, we are working with partners on such a proposal. Of course, partnership working has always been the Northwest’s strongest asset and without it, we wouldn’t have seen projects such as MediaCityUK, Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus and European Capital of Culture become a reality.

Whatever the detail of future arrangements, it is extremely important that we maintain the strong sense of momentum that has been crucial in the region to support economic recovery. The Government has set out a new course for the future delivery of economic development and our responsibility is clear – to support and assist Government and its partners to deliver these objectives. We must make sure that we work together to ensure a smooth transition during this period of change.

Robert Hough Chairman

Steven Broomhead Chief Executive

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This year’s key achievements Business • Providing effective and targeted business support through Business Link Northwest.

Outcomes

• Creating nearly 2,000 new businesses through the Intensive Start Up Support programme.

5,010

• Investing over £26 million in business finance initiatives for SMEs. • Offering immediate support for businesses and communities affected by the Cumbria floods. • Further investment to enhance the North West Manufacturing Advisory Service. • Continued progress on important infrastructure works at MediaCityUK. • The launch of a Public/Private joint venture for the next phase of Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus.

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Place

Businesses created

117,581 Businesses assisted

• Successfully managing the European Regional Development Fund on behalf of the Northwest. • Launching the £100 million Northwest Urban Investment Fund to kickstart stalled development projects. • Paving the way for a major project to redevelop Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens. • Launching the Atlantic Gateway, a vision to establish an area of economic growth second only to London within the UK. • Bringing forward the third phase of St Paul’s Square in Liverpool’s commercial district. • Supporting and hosting high profile Major Events such as the BT Paralympic World Cup (Manchester), Ironman (Bolton) and the Great North Swim (Cumbria).


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People Outcomes

282 ha Hectares of brownfield land remediated

£578m Public and Private leverage

• Investment to expand the LEAD programme, aimed at developing the leadership and management skills of small businesses. • Investment for a regional hub of the National Enterprise Academy, the UK’s first educational institution dedicated solely to enterprise and entrepreneurship. • Opening of the new £14 million University Centre at Blackburn College, which is providing new and increased education opportunities for Pennine Lancashire. • Developing Further Education Enterprise Hubs across the region to develop enterprise skills in young people and adults.

Outcomes

22,291 Jobs created or safeguarded

37,495 People assisted with developing their skills

13,724 People helped into education, employment or training

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Annual Review Business

Business During the year, the Agency has provided clear and coordinated support to help businesses through the economic downturn, increase levels of enterprise and innovation and drive forward growth in priority sectors where the region has real strengths.

Our key achievements 2009/10 Business Support • Business Link Northwest (BLNW) continued to provide effective and targeted business support, assisting over 97,000 businesses with a 91% satisfaction rate, an increase of almost 5,000 from the previous year. Since March 2009, BLNW’s Access to Finance programme worked with over 700 clients to diagnose their financial needs, securing £55 million of new finance for SMEs. • The Transitional Loan Fund, established to help new and existing SMEs improve their finance options, supported 36 businesses with shortterm loans of over £5.6 million in its first 10 months of operation.

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• The first equity investments from the Interim Venture Capital Loan Fund were awarded to two growing companies during the year. The Fund currently has 37 applications under active review, totalling £10 million. • The £10 million High Growth Programme, a joint NWDA and ERDF initiative, provided intense coaching and support to over 940 businesses during the year, creating almost 600 jobs. • Creation of over 2,000 new businesses through the Intensive Start Up Support programme, which offers free personalised support to groups and areas under-represented in self-employment.

• The Agency’s suite of business grants and loans invested over £26 million to help the region’s businesses start up, grow and expand.

Outcomes

97,000 Businesses assisted through Business Link Northwest


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Responding to the Cumbria floods

The flooding in November 2009 had a devastating effect on businesses and communities across Cumbria. The Agency moved swiftly to support those in need by immediately pledging £1 million for small businesses affected, working in partnership with the Cumbria Business & Economic Recovery Group to develop recovery plans, as well as providing 90 farmers and landowners with the resources to clear debris from land and rivers. A core element of support was the Flood Recovery Grant Scheme, which provided grants of up to £10,000 to help small and medium businesses get back on their feet. With the first payment made just 14 days after the scheme was launched, 179 businesses have since received funding support to cover areas ranging from specialist expertise to help businesses plan for recovery and staff training through to developing new marketing strategies. In addition to this, the Agency also worked to safeguard the future of Cockermouth’s largest employer and world-class manufacturer, James Walker & Co. The flooding resulted in the outsourcing of manufacturing to other factories, leading to job fears at the site which employs 350 people. The NWDA helped the company identify flood resilience options, which have protected the factory, equipment and materials against future flooding, enabling the company to maintain its position as a major global supplier of sealing systems. With the additional confidence gained from securing Agency funding, the company has since confirmed its ongoing commitment to the town.

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Annual Review Business

Priority Sectors Our key achievements 2009/10 • The launch of the Manufacturing Strategy & Action Plan, a 10-year framework for the development of the sector, and confirmation of a £20 million NWDA and ERDF investment for the enhanced Manufacturing Advisory Service, which has achieved cost savings of £739 million for Northwest manufacturers since 2002. • Investment for the Aerospace Supply Chain Excellence Programme 2, which aims to deliver over £100 million additional GVA to the regional economy, almost 400 jobs and develop the Northwest aerospace supply chain into a world-class cluster. • Support for the establishment of the £16 million Centre for Nuclear Energy Technology (C-NET) at the University of Manchester. The project has already levered in £2.6 million private sector investment and will contribute £20 million to the Northwest economy over 10 years.

Case Study

• Further support to enhance the research capacity of Manchester’s pioneering Biomedical Research Centre, enabling it to become one of the leading centres for translational medicine in the UK. • Penrith’s innovative Food Technology Centre reached full capacity less than a year after its official opening, providing an essential stepping stone for growing food and drink businesses across Cumbria. • The delivery of the Visitor Information Infrastructure project, to help tourist information centres improve their service, has already seen over 5 million visitors to tourist board websites, generating £3 million in online bookings, as well as delivering bespoke training for 250 staff across the region.

Building a creative economy The vision to create Europe's leading purpose-built creative and media development, MediaCityUK at Salford Quays, took significant steps forward during the year. Following the Agency’s £30 million investment and important role in securing the relocation of five BBC departments to the site, this year the Agency continued to work closely with partners to establish a Media Enterprise Centre (MEC), the innovation and enterprise hub of MediaCityUK. The facility will support media skills development, stimulate research activities and offer business accelerator space for cohabiting businesses, as well as hosting the national games centre of excellence, on the back of the region’s expertise in the computer games industry.

The ability to quickly and securely connect the region’s creative and digital industries and their customers is vital to the future success of MediaCityUK. To support this aim, the NWDA collaborated with the Northern Way to develop NorthernNet, a high-speed digital network for the whole of the North, housed within the MEC. The project will operate through Media Access Bureaus positioned across the three Northern regions, encouraging sector innovation and collaboration, and elevating the North as a leading force in the European media industry.

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Innovation

Case Study

Our key achievements 2009/10

Keeping business buoyant

• The launch of a Public/Private joint venture for the next phase of Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus, to develop up to 1 million sq ft of new business, research and innovation space and create more than 6,000 jobs. Vanguard House, a major new facility for hi-tech businesses and leading edge science, also started on site this year. • A second innovation centre at Liverpool Science Park, to attract science and knowledge-based companies to the city. Building on the success of the first innovation centre, almost 50% of the new facility is either occupied or under option less than a year after opening. • Launch of the Northwest Eco-innovation Programme to help 480 SMEs exploit new market opportunities for more environmentally sound products and services. This UK ‘first’ will result in 240 new environmental products and save 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over three years.

Encouraging innovation and more collaboration with Northwest universities has been a key focus of the support the Agency has provided to businesses to help them prepare for the economic upturn. With the support of the Northwest ERDF programme, the Agency introduced the £4 million Innovation Voucher Scheme, to encourage business owners and entrepreneurs to engage with the Northwest knowledge base, develop innovation and enhance their business. Since the scheme’s launch in 2008/09, 1,000 startup and established companies within food & drink, professional & financial services and digital & creative industries have already benefited from vouchers with a value of either £3,000 or £7,000. Importantly, every £1 invested in the scheme has returned £9.75 to the regional economy. One beneficiary has been Cumbrian pie-making company Burbush’s of Penrith, which is using its £3,000 innovation voucher to improve its performance and identify new markets. Working with Reaseheath College in Nantwich, the company has streamlined its production processes, creating a more efficient, effective and hygienic working environment. College experts have also advised the business on the steps it needs to take to gain the food industry accreditation that will allow it to move up the supply chain.

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Outcomes

1,000 Businesses supported through the innovation voucher scheme

1 Nuclear skills 2 Biomedical innovation 9


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Annual Review Business

Internationalisation Our key achievements 2009/10 • This year, England’s Northwest was once again one of the best performing regions in the UK for Foreign Direct Investment, attracting around 160 companies with 14,000 associated jobs*, including: - Two major successes in Trafford, with Spanish paper and packaging group SAICA choosing to invest £290 million to build a worldleading recycling paper mill, creating up to 200 jobs. This was closely followed by the Office for National Statistics confirming the creation of Europe’s largest data scanning centre, along with 1,300 jobs for the region.

• Completion of the regional international trade programme, which over three years has created or safeguarded 2,300 jobs, assisted over 10,500 businesses and achieved over £210 million international sales orders. For every £1 the NWDA invested in the programme, almost £21 was generated for the region. • The launch of ‘Hello Northwest’, a scheme offering new overseas investors free office space for the first 12 months of their relocation, as part of the drive to attract investment and jobs to the region. *provisional figures

Outcomes

14,000 Jobs created from Foreign Direct Investment into the region

£210m Sales orders generated through the regional international trade programme

- The Northwest’s strong academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology credentials ensured the region was the natural base for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s latest UK investment. The company’s new technology and manufacturing facility at Runcorn opened in February 2010, bringing the site’s total workforce to over 200.

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Climate Change Our key achievements 2009/10 • Launch of a revised Northwest Climate Change Action Plan, to guide the region towards reducing its carbon emissions and capitalise on the economic and commercial opportunities climate change presents. • A range of carbon reduction initiatives including: - £4 million investment for a Rural Carbon Challenge Fund, which will provide training and support to encourage social and microenterprises in rural areas to develop renewable energy projects. - Support for a Low Carbon Market Development Programme to increase the region’s market for renewable energy technologies, lever in £1.8 million of private sector investment and save two million tonnes of CO² over three years. • £9.9 million to extend the ENWORKS environmental business support service, which has helped 3,600 businesses to identify £75 million cost savings since 2001. The additional funding will support a further 1,250 Northwest companies and generate cost savings of £60 million. • The completion of the first stage of a major study to select a preferred scheme for generating electricity from the tidal resources of the Mersey Estuary. The Power from the Mersey project aims to make a significant contribution to the Government's target to secure 15% of UK energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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Outcomes

82,000 1 Manchester skyline

tonnes of CO2 saved through the Grant for Improving Your Resource Efficiency

2 Burbo Bank windfarm, Wirral 3 Liverpool Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre 4 PVC recycling ltd, Cheshire 11


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Annual Review People

People In order to compete on a global scale, it is vital that the region’s businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce relevant to their needs. During the year, the Agency has worked to link business and higher education, improve the region’s employment rate and provide the practical support needed to develop workforce skills.

Leadership, Management and Higher Level Skills Our key achievements 2009/10 • Continued progress on the Northwest Higher Level Skills Pathfinder, which aims to link businesses to advisers, to increase the demand for higher level skills across the region. To date, 60 collaborations have been funded involving higher and further education institutions, Sector Skills Councils and over 350 employers. • The Business Mentoring Programme is continuing to help up to 3,000 leaders and senior managers of small businesses to develop their skills through group and one-to-one mentoring.

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• Support for Leyland Trucks Training Programme which will train a number of ‘super technicians’ in the latest and emerging technologies, enabling the company to respond more effectively to the upturn in the European truck market. • Opening of the Capstone building at Liverpool Hope Creative Campus, providing state-of-the-art performance space for creative and performing arts students, supporting the development of future skills in the sector. • The creation of 13 Further Education Enterprise Hubs across the region, to support up to 15,000 young people to develop enterprise skills outside of education. The Hubs are also expected to encourage 480 adults to undertake enterprise-based training.

Outcomes

3,000 Senior managers of small businesses supported in skills development


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Blackburn College opens its doors

September 2009 marked a major step forward in the vision to transform the educational offering of Pennine Lancashire, with the opening of the new £14 milion University Centre at Blackburn College. The building, which received £3.2 million NWDA investment, is the latest stage in the College’s multi-million pound development to create a ‘cutting-edge campus’ to compete with the very best higher education institutions across the UK. As a direct result of the investment, the College now provides a much bigger, and enhanced, range of university level courses. Delivering over 130 degrees and professional qualifications relevant to the needs of local employers, the facility is ensuring that high-quality, talented students remain in the area. The University Centre received another boost in February 2010 when the College announced that full-time applications had reached their highest ever level. With numbers up by 155%, the University Centre will welcome almost 300 extra full-time students in September, allowing more young people and adult learners from the local community to study and improve their career prospects.

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Annual Review People

Size of the Workforce Our key achievements 2009/10 • The establishment of a dedicated Rapid Response Service, in conjunction with Jobcentre Plus, which is helping to get people affected by redundancy back into employment through measures such as job-focused training. • Bespoke training support to get those on incapacity benefit in Cumbria back into employment through the Return to Work Programme. By summer 2010, the scheme will have registered 120 clients with almost 40 of them placed into work.

13,724 People helped into education, employment or training

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• Launch of the Northwest Women & Work Taskforce, to investigate the barriers to employment for women and to develop women’s leadership potential.

Case Study

Outcomes

1 Job-focused training 2 Linco Communications

Unlocking enterprising potential

Manchester is helping to train the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, following the launch this year of the National Enterprise Academy, the UK’s first educational institution dedicated solely to enterprise and entrepreneurship. The NWDA worked closely with Government to help establish the Academy in the region, backing it with a £1 million investment which was matched by employers. A venture led by Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones, the Academy will see almost 18,000 16–19 year olds enrolled in its first five years, arming them with the skills and confidence to become enterprising employees or entrepreneurs in their own right. As a result, the Academy is now pioneering new ways of teaching by swapping textbooks for reallife business challenges, with a high level of practical input from entrepreneurs and tutors, as well as including work placements at world-class businesses such as Orange, Barclays and Manchester City Football Club. The result of a sixmonth pilot programme in 2009 showed how this approach is already paying off, with several students having established their own businesses, continuing in education, or being recruited by highprofile businesses.

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Case Study Leading the way With leadership and management skills crucial for the growth and survival of small businesses, during the year the Agency has continued to develop a number of programmes to ensure the workforce in the Northwest has the skills to succeed. Following the success of a pilot scheme led by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), this year the Agency invested ÂŁ9.5 million to expand the Leading Enterprise and Development (LEAD) programme. The roll-out follows impressive results at LUMS, where an independent evaluation found 90% of delegates reporting an increase in their business turnover of ÂŁ200,000 on average. Aimed at small business owners and managers throughout the Northwest, the programme aims to provide up to 2,000 small firms with the necessary skills to emerge stronger from the economic downturn. Throughout the programme, participants work on tackling real challenges in their business, ranging from master classes and workshops to peer group discussions and one-to-one coaching, with more than 450 people already benefiting.

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One business seeing the benefits is Lancaster-based Linco Communications, which attended a LEAD pilot in 2008. Following the practical skills received, the company has since seen its turnover triple.

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Annual Review Place

Place During the economic downturn, the Agency has continued to ensure private sector confidence in the region as a place to invest, work and visit, through helping major development projects stay on track, supporting the development of key employment sites and promoting the Northwest as a business location and visitor destination.

Conditions for Private Sector Investment Our key achievements 2009/10 • The launch of a joint NWDA/ERDF initiative to provide loans and investments to kick-start stalled development projects. Managed by the European Investment Bank, the £100 million Northwest Urban Investment Fund is expected to create and safeguard thousands of jobs, as well as channel returns on investment into other development projects. • Work to enable the delivery of key schemes by Central Salford, including an £11 million NWDA/ERDF investment towards the redevelopment of Chapel Street, which could generate over £650 million in private sector investment.

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• Funding start-up costs for a canal marina and connections to the city centre to boost private sector confidence in East Manchester’s New Islington scheme. • Completion of the Barrow link road, another important milestone for the town’s Waterfront Business Park, which will provide the infrastructure needed to exploit opportunities arising from the development of Britain’s Energy Coast. • £8.8 million NWDA and ERDF investment to bring forward the third phase of St Paul’s Square, Liverpool, which has already delivered over

250,000 sq ft of Grade A office space into the city’s commercial district. The additional investment will deliver a further 109,000 sq ft.

Outcomes

£41m Private sector leverage into Liverpool Commercial District


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Securing Blackpool’s future

Identifying economic priorities for areas where there is an acute need for encourage investment remained a clear priority for the Agency during the year. In Blackpool, the Agency helped to pave the way for a major project to enable Blackpool Council to buy two of the town’s most iconic visitor attractions, Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens. Utilising the expertise of world-class leisure operator Merlin Entertainments Group, the regeneration programme will fund a comprehensive programme of repairs for the Tower, along with an upgrading programme for the Winter Gardens to create a new multipurpose conferencing venue. The initiatives will help to almost double annual Blackpool Tower visitor numbers to 800,000, bringing an additional visitor spend of £36 million a year. The multi-million deal, including ERDF, NWDA, Blackpool Council and Homes & Communities Agency investment, will secure the long-term future of the area by rejuvenating tourism and ensuring that Blackpool maintains its status as the UK’s leading resort. Importantly, it will provide a return of £7 for every £1 of public sector investment.

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Annual Review Place

Employment Sites Our key achievements 2009/10 • Remediation work has commenced on the £19 million transformation of Bickershaw South, which will facilitate the development of up to 650 ecofriendly homes, a 40 berth canal boat marina and high-quality employment space. • Work has begun on a new £35 mllion Divisional Headquarters for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) at Central Park, East Manchester, strengthening the area’s reputation as a business location. It will be built next to GMP’s Force Headquarters, also currently under construction. • Enabling the redevelopment of the 3MG site at Halton into a multi-modal freight distribution facility, the first phase of which has secured a major deal between Stobart Group and Tesco. The site has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs once complete.

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• Continued progress at Rochdale’s Kingsway Business Park. US-based architectural supplier C.R. Laurence has established a European headquarters at the site, while JD Sports Fashion Retail Plc has confirmed its move to a purposebuilt 616,000 sq ft distribution centre on site.

Outcomes

282 ha of brownfield land remediated

Growth Locations Our key achievements 2009/10 • Launch of the Atlantic Gateway, a vision to establish an area of economic growth second only to London within the UK, which could create up to 250,000 new jobs and 400,000 new homes by 2030.

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• Securing the redevelopment of Time Square in Warrington, a project which could attract up to £80 million in private sector investment into the town, providing high-quality office, retail, leisure and hotel developments. • Complementing the multi-million pound Chester Station Gateway project by investing in vital improvements to passenger facilities. • Securing Carlisle’s Durranhill site for redevelopment as an employment location, to attract private sector investment and create jobs for the area.

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Outcomes

£578m Investment levered in from public and private sector


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Rural Growth Our key achievements 2009/10 • The completion of the £3 million Distinctly Cumbrian scheme, which has helped over 300 Cumbrian food, drink and craft businesses to expand or develop. • Strengthening Rural Communities across the Northwest, a programme to improve services and increase productivity in rural areas, has created or safeguarded 70 jobs and supported 57 social enterprises in areas including health and social care, retail and recycling.

Case Study

1 Stobart Group 2 Chester Station 3 Keswick, Cumbria 3

4 Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop, Cumbria

Supporting the rural economy

Two years on from the launch of the £75 million Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) in the Northwest, key progress has been made in supporting rural areas in the region. Managed by the NWDA, the Defra/European Union-funded programme is supporting a wide range of projects across the region to aid farm diversification, encourage innovative ways of working and create new rural businesses dealing in food, leisure and recreation, and renewable energy. By asking partners to identify local priorities, local community groups have designed packages to support businesses, maximise training and skills development and provide opportunities in their local areas. To complement this activity, this year also saw the launch of the Northwest Livestock Programme, a core element of RDPE which utilises the expertise of specially-trained advisers on areas such as animal welfare, resource efficiency and ICT support. In only a year after going live, the programme has offered grants to over 120 farmers, with 1,700 plans produced to help them improve animal health, nutrition management and efficiency of their resources.

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As a result of the Livestock Programme, six monitor farms have been established across the region to test new methods of livestock farming and improve profit. Until 2013, farmers in business groups attached to these farms will be able to share ideas, see new technology, and then apply the methods they’ve seen work to their own farms.

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Annual Review Place

Brownfield Land/Regional Parks Our key achievements 2009/10 • Continued progress on the Newlands land regeneration scheme, including the transformation of brownfield land into community woodland at Belfield (Rochdale) and Town Lane (Southport).

investment of £58 million to deliver new commercial, retail and leisure space including a hotel, cinema, restaurants and watersports training centre.

• Building on the success of the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park initiative through two key investments, including:

- Creating the conditions for further private sector investment with the redevelopment of Liverpool’s former International Garden Festival site into a riverside residential community and waterfront park.

- Supporting land remediation and public realm improvements as part of the Brand New Brighton project, which will lever private sector

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Marketing the Region Our key achievements 2009/10 • Support for a national marketing campaign to promote the message that Cumbria was open for visitors following the floods. • Emphasising the region’s strengths as a place to do business through supporting Liverpool’s presence at Shanghai Expo 2010. • Promoting the region as a cultural short break destination through an awardwinning digital marketing campaign on the London Underground.

• Ensuring the Northwest is benefiting from, and contributing towards, the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Activity in the region this year included:

Outcomes

- At least 204 Northwest businesses winning 275 London 2012-related contracts.

£60m Generated from hosting regional major events

- Hosting the UK’s first ever Pre Games Training Camps, Swimming Australia (Manchester) and Oceania (Liverpool).

1 New Brighton 2 Lakes Alive 3 Shanghai Expo 2010 4 Great North Swim, Windermere 5 World Netball Championships 2

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6 BT Paralympic World Cup 2009


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Case Study Supporting world-class major events Since the launch of the regional Major Events Strategy in 2004, the Northwest has had major success in bidding for, and attracting, high-profile sporting and cultural events. An approach led by the Agency, with support from partners, this reputation continued to be strengthened during the year with major events netting £60 million for the regional economy. This year’s prestigious line-up included world-class events from the BT Paralympic World Cup, held in Manchester for the fifth consecutive year, to Ironman (Bolton) which attracted 1,500 professional and amateur athletes from 35 countries. Meanwhile, the Great North Swim (Cumbria) attracted over 6,000 swimmers is one of the world’s top open-water swims in the world. More than 7,000 people have already registered to be part of the 2010 event.

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The region’s strong credentials were given further recognition this year with Manchester being named one of the world’s top 10 cities for hosting international sports events. Judged on criteria including stadia and venues, transport and Government support, leading sports information service SportBusiness also awarded the city with the accolade of ‘best legacy’, following the success of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. 5

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Policy and performance Over the past year the NWDA has demonstrated clear and decisive economic leadership in the region, continuing to coordinate the region’s response to the recession while maintaining a focus on ensuring longterm economic growth and delivering strongly on our projects and programmes. In conjunction with Jobcentre Plus the Agency established a dedicated Rapid Response Team to deal with potential redundancies, and launched a Graduate Plus scheme to encourage graduates to stay and continue to study in the region. We recognised the role of public procurement in creating jobs and improving skills and subsequently led the major public sector procurers in the Northwest, to work to ensure that it is easier for businesses to access more contracts. The Agency has worked closely with all its sub-regional partners to strengthen and develop joint investment planning across the Northwest. We assisted Greater Manchester partners in the delivery of the Statutory Sub-Region bid and have worked with partners in East Lancashire and Blackpool & Fylde to help them develop their Economic Development Companies. We also

continue to work with the Northern RDAs through the Northern Way, and collaboratively we have taken some major steps forward to deliver transport priorities, including the debate on High Speed Rail and making the economic case for investment in the Manchester Hub rail network. Providing regular updates to the region, partners and Government on economic conditions has been key during the downturn, and the Agency’s research and intelligence has played a strong ongoing role in informing Government policies and initiatives. Related to this, we played a key leadership role in the Joint Economic Commission for the region, seeking to address such issues as Green Jobs in a Low Carbon Economy and we led on work to champion the region’s strengths in the Energy and Environmental Goods and Services sectors.

Through the North West Regional European Partnership, the Agency has responded to several European consultations, particularly the Europe 2020 Strategy which will set out policy direction for Europe for next ten years. We have also been instrumental in emphasising the importance of getting the local and regional voice heard at European level and ensuring active involvement in preparing and implementing EU policies. Building on the independent evaluation by PriceWaterhouseCoopers into the economic impact of RDAs, which highlighted the strong return on investment from RDA interventions, the NWDA continues to evaluate and build in lessons learned from projects and programmes into future activity and to ensure that such activity delivers value for money.

The Agency continues to implement its Single Equality Scheme. Key achievements in the past year include the implementation of Equality Impact Assessments, beneficiary monitoring of NWDA outputs, and externally the hosting of a successful Regional Equality and Diversity conference.

Target

2009/10 Achieved

The Agency has achieved the following outputs during 2009/10:

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Jobs created or safeguarded

19,000

22,291

New businesses created

5,000

5,010

Businesses assisted

32,000

117,581

Skills development

25,000

37,495

Hectares of brownfield land remediated

175

282

People helped into education, employment or training

5,000

13,724

Public and Private leverage (£m)

225

578


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Highlights of the Business Plan 2010-11 Strategic Priorities

People

• Ensure investment is focused on support for business, with a direct or one-step-removed impact, specifically:

• Deliver key leadership and management programmes including the Leading Enterprise and Development (LEAD) programme, Business Mentoring and Train to Gain

- Enterprise support and growth sectors

- Capturing the benefits of globalisation

• Support the development of skills in key regional sectors including Digital & Creative and Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services.

- Development of enterprise skills and behaviours – attracting talent and releasing potential

• Ensure support for the skills brokerage service through Business Link Northwest

- Creating high value jobs or any jobs in deprived areas

• Focus on developing skills and talent in the region, capitalising on the High Growth Programme, entrepreneurship and delivery of specialist training programmes

- Innovation and its commercial exploitation

- Creating the conditions for private sector investment to achieve economic growth and regeneration • Continue to align European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) with NWDA investment

• Deliver the University Enterprise Networks programme

Business

Place

• Ensure the ongoing delivery of Business Link Northwest as the primary access route for business support

• Deliver the Northwest Urban Investment Fund

• Deliver the £185 million North West Fund, providing a range of debt and equity finance to regional businesses • Improve the availability and access to finance for SMEs, and work with banks, professional intermediaries and partners to increase the take-up of Business Finance products and assistance • Ensure the delivery of the Manufacturing Strategy & Action Plan and the Manufacturing Advisory Service • Support the continued development of MediaCityUK and maximise the opportunities this presents • Support the development of the visitor economy through the region’s five Tourist Boards • Deliver the Northwest Science Strategy, including key initiatives that increase the interactions of businesses with the knowledge base • Work with UK Trade & Investment to help new and existing exporters, provide an international supply chain programme and enable companies to develop internationalisation plans

• Work with Urban Regeneration Companies and Economic Development Companies to focus resources on interventions that have a regional impact • Continue to support Joint Investment Planning across the region • Work with partners to develop the Atlantic Gateway and Energy Coast initiatives • Support regeneration in Blackpool and encourage private sector investment in Preston city centre, as well as other key centres, growth areas and regional strategic sites • Deliver the Rural Development Programme for England • Promote the region as a competitive business location and tourism destination • Deliver the regional Major Events Strategy • Ensure the region benefits from the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, focusing on attracting Pre Games Training Camps, promoting business opportunities and maximising the impact of the Torch Relay

• Implement the refreshed Northwest Climate Change Action Plan

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Board and Executive The Board

Robert Hough Chairman

Vanda Murray OBE – Deputy Chair

Peter Hensman – Deputy Chair

Peter Allen MBE

John Brooks

Joe Dwek CBE

Dr Clive Elphick

David Goldie

Frank Hont MBE

Councillor Tony McDermott MBE

Councillor John Merry CBE

Anne Selby

Lord Peter Smith

Dr John Stageman

The Board usually meets 10 times a year and has 11 formal committees and sub-committees.

The Executive Steven Broomhead Chief Executive

Nick Brooks-Sykes Director of Tourism

Ian Haythornthwaite Deputy Chief Executive (Resources)

Nigel Dove Director of Marketing & Communications

Mark Hughes Deputy Chief Executive (Economic Development)

Dr Lis Smith Director of Skills & Employment

Simon Nokes Executive Director of Policy & Planning

Dr George Baxter Director of Science & Innovation

Diane Summers Executive Director of Corporate & Employment Services

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Information Websites

www.nwda.co.uk

www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com

www.englandsnorthwest.com

The Agency’s corporate site

The region’s tourism site

The region’s inward investment site

Publications (available in PDF at www.nwda.co.uk/publications)

Business Plan 2010-11: A summary of Agency plans for 2010-11

NWDA key facts: How the Agency works to build the competitiveness of the region’s businesses, people and places

Support for Northwest Businesses: Outlining the range of publicly-funded support available to the region’s businesses

Financial Support for your Business: Highlighting the flexible financial support on offer - including loans, grants and equity finance - to assist businesses

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This document is available in large print, braille, audio tape and the following languages; Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Somali, Urdu and Hindi. Please contact the Marketing Department on 01925 400 100

Renaissance House, Centre Park, Warrington, WA1 1QN Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400 www.nwda.co.uk www.enw.co.uk/visit www.enw.co.uk/invest

July 2010 NWDA k4-14


Annual Review 09-10  

Northwest Regional Development Agency Annual Review 2009 - 2010

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