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Rural Development Programme for England The Implementation Plan for England's Northwest 2007 - 2013

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas


Foreword Our region is home to a rich and varied natural landscape stretching from the uplands of Cumbria and the Pennines to the lowland plains of Lancashire and Cheshire. Approximately four fifths is defined as rural with roughly one in six people living in rural areas As part of Defra’s commitment to Modernising Rural Delivery, they have devolved elements of the new Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to the English Regions. Each Region has been tasked with producing a Regional Implementation Plan (RIP) which sets out the activities to be pursued. This is set within the wider framework of the national programming document for England. Uniquely, in the Northwest we are using our sub regional partners to target Axis I, III & IV. Each of our five sub regions has produced a Sub-Regional Implementation Plan that tailors the agreed regional approach to fit sub regional priorities. Although responsibility for delivering Axis I, III and IV lies with the Northwest Development Agency and Axis II with Natural England and the Forestry Commission partners have agreed that integration of all axes is key to a successful outcome for the programme as a whole. The RDPE resources come at a time of great change within the farming industry and consequently changes for rural communities as a whole. These changes offer opportunities for a prosperous future that this programme is designed to help bring about. Building on our past good track record, the success of this approach depends upon a good working partnership between not only the main delivery bodies, but also between other key partners at regional and sub regional level. Only such collaboration will achieve sustainable outcomes from this programme for all rural interests and through them, for the wider region. I would like to thank all of those who have contributed to this Plan and I am pleased to commend this programme to you.

Peter White Chair North West Rural Strategy Board

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Contents Page 4

1.

Introduction - Your voice, your future 1.2 Illustration of the process the Delivery Partners have followed

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2.

The regional context for a rural renaissance 2.1 Sub-regional partnerships 2.2 The strategic drivers for change 2.3 Thematic action areas

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3.

Issues and opportunities 3.1 Key issue: Competitiveness 3.2 Key issue: Climate change and energy 3.3 Key issue: Resource protection 3.4 Key issue: Sustainable agriculture 3.5 Key issue: Forestry and woodlands 3.6 Key issue: Biodiversity and landscape 3.7 Key issue: Skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building

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4.

Delivering sustainable rural development across England's Northwest 4.1 Theme One Making agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable 4.2 Theme Two Conserving and enhancing the environment and countryside 4.3 Theme Three: Enhancing opportunity & quality of life in rural areas 4.4 Theme Four: Cross cutting - developing a skilled workforce in rural areas 4.5 Themes, Axes Measures 4.6 Targeting delivery 4.7 Targets for the Programme 4.8 Reviewing targets 4.9 The use of a LEADER Approach

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5.

Unlocking value and sustainability 5.1 Other regional funding sources 5.2 Value for money 5.3 Demarcation with other EU Funding 5.4 The balance of regional measures

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6.

Measuring success and communicating change 6.1 Indicators, monitoring and evaluation 6.2 Regional Communications Plan 6.3 Governance Arrangements 6.4 Ensuring Equality and Diversity

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Annex I: Priority action areas through delivery of Environmental Stewardship and English Woodland Grant schemes

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Annex II: Overview of other regional strategies and funding schemes

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Annex III: Glossary of Terms and Links

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Annex IV: Output of the regional SWOT analysis

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Annex V: Demarcation with Other EU funding streams

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Annex VI: Key Narrative to Priorities

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Annex VII: Mapping of regional priorities against RDPE measures

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1. Introduction - Your voice, your future European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) In June 2005, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) was approved to replace the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) as funds for rural development under the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2007 – 2013. The available measures for funding have been divided between three main headings (or axes). There will also be a fourth, cross cutting (or implementation) axis under which the LEADER approach to bottom up locally led projects will be used to implement measures of the other axes. Axis I Axis II Axis III Axis IV

Improving the competitiveness of the farming and forestry sectors Improving the environment and countryside Rural quality of life and diversification of the rural economy The LEADER approach

To unlock this funding Defra are required to submit a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to the European Commission for approval. The national programme will define the scope of this Regional Implementation Plan. The Rural Development Regulation and its Implementing Regulation will define permissible activity. The Government is committed to Environmental Stewardship. The consequence of this is that the socioeconomic funding is likely to be near the minimum spends allowed by the EU. Therefore, the Government has agreed the balance of EU funding across the entire programme in England is ten per cent for Axis I, eighty per cent for Axis II and ten per cent for Axis III. For planning purposes Defra has indicated that the North West can assume Axis I and III funding of approximately £72 million for the life of the Programme and an estimated £300 million for Axis II. The programme as a whole will be delivered on an integrated basis. However, the Northwest Regional Development Agency will be responsible for Axis I and III and IV. The Forestry Commission and Natural England are responsible for Axis II. This document - a Regional Implementation Plan (RIP) - is one of eight being prepared across England by a range of partners including the RDAs, Forestry Commission and Natural England. The process has been facilitated by each region's Government Office. The draft RIPs were presented to Defra in December 2006 as a contribution to the national programme. For England's Northwest, the Regional Development Agency has engaged with sub-regional partners in Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire to identify local priorities. On the pages that follow, the details of activity for the region under the RDPE are set out and the proposed balance of funding for each theme is established. The activities outlined are guided first and foremost by the Regional Rural Delivery Framework (RRDF), but also by the delivery partners key documents; Regional Forestry Framework (RFF) entitled 'Agenda for Growth' the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) and Natural England’s Strategic Direction. Although the above outline of axes, plans, implementation schemes and priority areas at first glance may appear complex for England's Northwest the reality is simple and engaging, over the next 6 years the region that has bounced back from past setbacks with such energy and dynamism, now has an opportunity to build on its strong partnerships and even stronger reputation for delivery. The partners intend that the RDPE will build a sustainable future for the rural areas of the Northwest Region.

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1.2

Illustration of the process the Delivery Partners have followed RDPE measures and axes

National Defra Guidance

Regional Strategic Fit exercise Evidence base RRDF ‘State of the Rural Northwest’ report

SWOT 5 sub regional plans Key issues

Themes

Manchester Merseyside Cheshire Lancashire Cumbria

Priority Actions

Regional % allocation against measures

Consultation

Final draft of RIP

2. The regional context for a sustainable rural future England's Northwest is ready and willing to take on the opportunities and challenges set out within the RDPE and to add significant value to the European funding support that will drive change over the next six years. Most importantly, the region is a proven force when it comes to delivery. The region's rural communities have forged powerful partnerships that have diversified the economy and perhaps most importantly have taken an holistic view of the opportunities for new businesses, skills development and environmental conservation and enhancement. The North West has 6.7 million inhabitants and covers just over 10% of England. Some 80% of the region can be considered rural in character on which agricultural activities predominate. Within the sub regions dairy farming predominates in Cheshire, with beef and sheep farming in the uplands of Cumbria or Lancashire. Some 88 per cent of the population lives in urban areas, particularly across the major conurbations of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. However, Greater Manchester does contain some remoter communities around its fringes and within the South Pennines that are rural in character. Similarly, the Merseyside sub-region contains some of the highest quality land in the region that sustains an established horticultural industry and significant numbers of farm-based employees. 2.1

Sub-regional partnerships

The North West Development Agency increasingly delivers through an empowered network of sub-regional partnerships such as Cumbria Vision or Manchester Enterprises. The partnerships include a range of agencies and organisations involved in rural regeneration, economic development, business support and specialists within the landbased sector. RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

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These partnerships have been pivotal in helping to deliver key programmes through the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). In the more rural sub-regions of Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire, the partnerships first came into being to deliver the Rural Action Plans that were created as a consequence of Foot and Mouth Disease (2001), their ability to deliver strong and robust programmes is therefore proven. The five sub-regional partnerships are working with their local partners to produce sub-regional Implementation Plans. These sub-regional plans are based on regional priorities identified as a result of a mapping exercise of relevant strategies (see Annexe VII. Together, their key role is to identify action at a very local level. The sub-regional plans are the foundation for delivery of Axis I, III and IV and could have the potential to assist targeting Axis II. 2.2 The strategic drivers for change The structure of this plan and its action themes outlined in the next few pages, have been informed by a regional consultation exercise and by analysis of the key regional strategies that will inform the plan, namely the Regional Rural Delivery Framework (RRDF) , the Regional Forestry Framework, the Regional Economic Strategy and Natural England’s Strategic Direction. Delivery partners intend that this programme will complement and work with other relevant strategies in the region, eg RSS, SSFF and Environment Agency. The Regional Delivery Plan for the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food (SSFF) will continue to ensure that farm businesses become more market orientated, environmentally sustainable and reconnect with their consumers. The strategy will embrace a wide spectrum of activity, ensuring that farm businesses are environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Key delivers of this change will be agrienvironmental payments focused on the delivery of public goods and the Single Farm Payment Scheme. The priority actions outlined in the RRDF are of particular importance and map against the thematic action areas outlined in this implementation plan, which were laid out by Defra as being priorities within the RDPE. As a set of regional priorities that have been established, agreed and acted upon by regional partners, it is vital that they are reflected in this plan for the RDPE. The RRDF has six priorities: • • • • • •

Maximising the economic potential of the region’s rural areas Supporting sustainable farming and food Ensuring access to affordable rural housing* Ensuring fair access to services for rural communities Empowering rural communities and addressing rural social exclusion Enhancing the value of our rural environmental inheritance

* There are no measures in the RDPE Programme to address affordable housing. 2.3 Thematic action areas In its guidance to the regions on how to develop their Regional Implementation Plans, Defra established three desired themes for action: • • •

Making farming and forestry more competitive and sustainable; Conserving and enhancing the environment and countryside; Enhancing opportunities and quality of life in rural areas

This thematic direction indicates that a joined-up approach to programme delivery should be pursued . As the regional experience of rural diversification has shown, rural development programmes are at their most effective when they adopt an holistic and sustainable approach. For example, where environmental enhancement is used to boost a tourism business or where an agricultural business diversifies into an area that also has a positive environmental outcome(e.g. biomass). In addition to the above themes, the North West partners drafting this implementation plan have added a fourth cross-cutting theme of: •

Developing skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building

With these four themes established and agreed and with the desire for joined-up delivery of the RIP identified, a strong framework has been created for the Northwest's response to the RDPE that when the programme starts, a balanced programme can be delivered.

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3.

Issues and Opportunities

In preparing this RIP an analysis was conducted of the region's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in line with guidance from Defra and the approach deployed across other English regions. The full analysis, which utilises primary evidence from the PION Report – the State of the Rural North West 2005 - can be found in Annex IV to this document. Some of the significant issues arising from the SWOT that are relevant to this programme are explored in more detail below. These substantiate the proposed actions and measures that are to be found in sections 4 and 5 of this plan. 3.1

Key issue: Competitiveness and Growth

The rural North West still faces significant long-term economic challenges and some fundamental problems that remain difficult to shift. There are a number of underperforming areas (per capita), a lack of enterprise diversity and a widespread recognition that there is limited available workspace of an appropriate nature for modern enterprise. Baseline data collected for the RRDF makes it clear that, although rural areas account for 40% of the region’s businesses and 25% of its workforce, its contribution to GVA is only around 23% of the regional total. This suggests an abundance of poorly performing enterprises in rural areas. This must be addressed if we are to create the conditions for sustainable growth. Outside of agriculture and forestry, economic activity and commerce type in rural areas is similar to the rest of the region. Rural areas do however, have a higher proportion of SMEs, tend to have more lower paid workers with a higher proportion of seasonal employment and significantly more multiple employment. There is a need for on-going investment, increased innovation, growth of a higher level skills base and an enduring level of entrepreneurship. A key difference in the rural economy is that its business base appears more robust. Business start-up rates may be lower in rural areas but survival rates are higher. Prosperity in rural areas can appear ‘polarised’. Agriculture’s weak economic performance is in stark contrast to the growth in business services and the stabilising force of public sector employment which provides 20-25% of all jobs in rural areas. This also impacts at the level of individuals within rural communities where the relative prosperity of an area masks deprivation and counters the argument that all parts of a community automatically benefit from the success of investment. 3.2 Key issue: Climate change and energy All aspects of life; economic, social and environmental face a significant threat from climate change. By the 2080s it is predicted that the average annual daily temperature could increase by up to 4 degrees centigrade and seasonal rainfall patterns will change. Winter precipitation could increase by up to 30 per cent and summer rainfall decrease by up to 60 per cent. Actions that strengthen the resilience of the rural environment in the face of impending climate change impacts should be encouraged and landscape scale adaptation strategies pursued. Rural economic activity should move towards making a significant contribution to achieving a low-carbon and well adapted region. Better land management, increased energy efficiency and new diversified enterprises focused around bio-fuels and bio-energy crops could contribute to reducing the region's carbon emissions. Clear priorities for action include using waste streams or by-products to generate energy, short rotation coppicing and utilising under-managed woodlands as a source of wood fuel to address the Forestry Commission’s national target of 1m tonnes of biomass from woodland management. RDPE offers rural businesses and rural communities the opportunity to take up various forms of renewable energy, eg, solar, wind and hydro, Such initiatives would deliver on priority actions across all four RIP themes and all rural areas in the North West. 3.3 Key issue: Resource protection The region's natural environmental resources - its natural capital - has an estimated value to the Northwest's economy of around £2.5 billion, much of it through rural businesses that are directly reliant on the environment, such as fishing, forestry or outdoor pursuits. An estimated 48,000 tourism jobs alone are judged to be reliant on a high quality environment. Protecting our natural environmental resources is of primary importance in protecting environment-dependant jobs and is important to creating new business opportunities for the future.

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One resource that comes under consistent pressure in rural areas is the region's network of waters and waterways. The majority of water pollution incidents are not from heavy industry but from agriculture. The contribution of diffuse pollution “run-off “ to a reduced water quality across the region is of particular concern. The run-off is often made-up of nutrient rich soils that are drawn from arable and rough grazing areas that are at an increasing risk of soil erosion. This erosion of soil can damage waterways and water resources such as Cumbria's lakes, but it also leads to a release of carbon locked in the soil and a drop in biodiversity. A key challenge for rural areas is a true adoption of sustainable farming and land use that reduces water pollution, increases efficiency in water use, combats soil erosion and protects the region's locked up carbon 'sinks'. 3.4

Key issue: Sustainable agriculture

The Northwest's agricultural sector is used to adapting and changing to shifting circumstances, from BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease to an increasingly globalised and cost-cutting market for agricultural products. In the coming years, circumstances will continue to shift. Most pivotally through the change in focus under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from supporting agricultural output to supporting sustainable land management, environmental stewardship and the development of farm businesses that focus on their customers. A sustainable and prosperous farming sector will be in a better position to deliver many of the desired environmental and animal health and welfare outcomes than one which is struggling to survive. To deliver this, farmers will need to adopt a new culture of cooperation and collaboration that will be capable of delivering economies of scale. The challenge for the region, particularly in upland areas, is to maintain an economically viable farming and food sector which is focused on its markets and seeks to maximise the environmental gain from this shift. At the same time it is important to recognise the role of the agricultural community in safeguarding the region’s upland heritage where options for change are limited. Opportunities also exist to develop locality food brands, offering farmers the chance to add value to commodity production. Potential may also exist to link economic and environmental assets through food branding, especially in areas of high landscape character. Organic farming within the region is recognised as having an important role in delivering a Sustainable Farming and Food sector. The region has responded to the challenges facing the organic sector and has established the North West Organics Centre to reverse the reduction in land managed organically and bring the region more in line with national trends and market opportunities. Pressing issues such as declining returns to producers, a lack of producer co-operation, a lack of processing facilities and problems over quality and continuity of supply remain important for the region to address. 3.5

Key issue: Forestry and woodlands

Woodland and forestry in Northwest England face several challenges. Although we have 700 square miles of Community Forest, we have relatively low woodland cover at 6.8% of land cover (96,171 hectares). Nearly half of the resource is under-managed,. The Regional Forestry Framework (2005) identifies the priorities for this cross cutting sector and the issues this programme can address are summarised below. Only 61% of woodland Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) are in favourable/recovering condition and our valuable Ancient Woodlands, which cover 1% of land, are in need of protection and active management to restore and conserve their biodiversity value. In helping to meet Regional and National BAP targets we need to focus on key woodland habitat types and species. Although an intrinsic part of the regional landscape, many woodland habitats are seriously fragmented and in need of restoration and reconnection. The North West has 7 million people and some of poorest health records in England. This gives rise to opportunities for increased access to and community engagement in woodlands. Woodlands have a key role in economic, social and environmental regeneration, for example, in the restoration of derelict, underused and neglected land (DUNL). Over a third of the 26,385 hectares are in rural areas. The forestry and woodland industry sector underpins the sustainable management of our woodland. It has significant skill, capacity, leadership and networking challenges and there is a need to build on and improve its environmental and sustainability credentials to ensure they can deliver the required benefits. We need to foster growth in the sector through innovation, the development of new markets, eg woodfuel biomass and process improvement. There is a particular opportunity to add value to current forestry or farming operations through diversification, particularly for micro-businesses. 3.6 Key issue: Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

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The landscape of the NW region include densely-populated cities and extensive urban fringe areas though 80% is farmland including large expanses of sparsely-populated upland areas and scenic countryside. The region has a remarkable range of habitats – from major estuaries such as Morecambe Bay, to the lakes and uplands of the Lake District and North Pennines. Approximately 29% of the region is subject to statutory landscape designation, comprising the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District National Parks and Arnside Silverdale, Forest of Bowland, Solway and North Pennines Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In addition, the UK Government is a co-signatory of the European Landscape Convention which gives specific duties towards the conservation and enhancement of all landscapes. The region also has responsibilities resulting from a wealth of European and international ecological designations. These rich landscape and biodiversity assets provide an essential resource for public enjoyment and recreation, and underpin much of the tourism activity in the region. Of major significance are the region’s upland areas, much being subject to statutory landscape and ecological designation. Ensuring continued support for these public goods in light of the impact of further CAP reform constitutes a major challenge for the region. 30% of England’s common land is in the North West, many being large upland sites with high ecological status. The challenge is achieving coherent management of this asset through intervention capable of addressing the inherent complexity of land management interests. 2070 km2 of the region is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The challenge is to improve the sustainable management of this rich resource. Currently 18% is in poor condition due to unsustainable management – particularly upland, river, lake, limestone pavement/grassland and woodland habitats. The North West's contribution to the England Biodiversity Strategy, through the Regional Biodiversity Action Plan and the five component sub-regional plans, will improve the quality and extent of many important habitats. Fragmentation and isolation of existing habitats which reduces habitat robustness, connectivity and expansion potential is also a significant issue, particularly in more developed and populated lowland areas and for large-scale upland habitats, including upland woodland/scrub. In the North West there is a significant historic/archaeological asset base with many designated historic environment assets. In addition there are many thousands of buildings, sites and features within a historic landscape context which are not legally protected but which provide a sense of place for the people who live in and visit the countryside and make the landscape of the North West so varied and attractive and which attract thousands of visitors every year. Changes to the NW region’s traditional rural landscapes are happening fast, through urban pressures, the partly unpredictable effects of climate change, the need for renewable energy production, and through economic changes affecting agriculture, not least the changes to agricultural support payments. This change offers challenges but also opportunities for increased environmentally focused management. 3.7

Key issue: Skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building

One reason why skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building is presented as a cross-cutting theme in this RIP is due to the broad and extensive range of challenges and opportunities the issue presents for rural areas, not least because so many areas have relatively high levels of low productivity or low pay. For the agricultural and forestry community there is a need for farmers and land managers to broaden their skills base to include: • • •

sustainable approaches to land management to ensure that they gain maximum direct (economic) benefit from the changing focus in the CAP; a greater level of understanding of information and communication technologies (ICT); and a wider and more up-to-date set of techniques around business management and marketing.

There is a more general need to build and develop leadership within the rural communities, to increase levels of vocational training and deliver an increase in levels of knowledge transfer or research, from core areas such as animal welfare, renewable energy, resource efficiency and better business practice.

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4. Delivering Rural Development across England's Northwest The delivery of this Regional Implementation Plan will be led by three key regional agencies: the Northwest Regional Development Agency (Axis I and III and LEADER); Natural England and the Forestry Commission (Axis II). The four themes detailed earlier will guide the activities within the RIP and have been used to help ensure that key regional priorities, such as those contained in the RRDF, are included. Below the themes are related in more detail, including information regarding targeting of resources and delivery. 4.1 Theme One Making agriculture and forestry more competitive & sustainable Summary evidence base Agriculture and forestry together account for 3% of regional GVA. However, sub-regionally and within a singularly rural context, this figure can be doubled. Approximately 40,000 are employed directly in farming and 25,000 through woodland and forestry companies. Overall in the rural economy there are considerable issues around low profit and lack of economic diversity that is compounded by remoteness and a lack of workspace. Agriculture and forestry are particularly associated with these issues. Although rural areas enjoy lower levels of unemployment, earning levels are lower and multiple employment is prevalent in remote areas. Strategic 'fit' with other regional strategies See annex VI This thematic area supports a number of important regional strategies as detailed below: Regional Rural Delivery Framework • Support the provision of business and environmental advice to the farming and food sectors • Support for on farm diversification and innovation • Encourage greater collaborative activity both vertically and horizontally within the farming and food industry • Promote sustainable business growth in rural areas by focusing intervention on opportunities for higher value production, higher-value employment, in-migrating businesses and entrepreneurship, and by focusing business support on closing the productivity gap with non-rural businesses Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food • SSFF will use RDPE as a key delivery vehicle to achieve its outcomes. SSFF has been embedded within headline Priority 2 of the RRDF to ensure mainstream delivery of the strategy. Regional Forestry Framework • Provide support that meets the specific requirements of the woodland and forestry sector • Provide advice that meets the specific requirements of woodland and forestry sector Natural England Strategic outcomes & objectives • Influence markets and supply chains • Environmentally sustainable farming, fishery and forestry Regional Economic Strategy priority actions • Implement plans to ensure ongoing growth in the rural economy • Review Business Support Needs (in the rural economy) • Supporting companies to use and harness the benefits of ICT

Priority actions • Encourage and support collaborative activity amongst farm and forestry businesses • Develop an economically viable farming food and forestry industry that is profitable, reconnected and responsive to its markets • The modernisation and diversification of key employment sectors in rural areas • Develop new markets for and add value to rural products including opportunities arising out of climate change such as woodfuel biomass • Increase efficiency of use of resources, such as energy and water • Implement Sustainable Food and Farming Strategy • Vocational training and development of skills to improve competitiveness • Provision of advice to land managers to maximise sustainability of land holding • Adding value to primary produce Delivery and targeting The priority actions identified above will be delivered under Axis I of the RDPE (see Table I) by the Northwest Regional Development Agency in partnership with local and sub-regional partnerships; particularly in respect of adopting a LEADER approach. Networking forums and dissemination workshops have been identified as appropriate methods of delivery, particularly at the point of need. Some measures will be available across the region while others, for example, will be focussed on districts that are identified by Defra as lagging behind in productivity or in sparse rural districts .

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4.2

Theme Two

Conserving and enhancing the environment and countryside Summary evidence base The region boasts a broad and diverse range of environmental, historic, landscape and recreational assets which require intervention for varied reasons in order to sustain and deliver the defined public goods. The region's natural environment delivers more than £2.5 billion into the region's economy through primary industries such as forestry or agriculture to secondary industries such as environment-dependent tourism and recreation. Under this theme there are priorities for biodiversity, landscape, historic environment, resource protection, woodland, access and climate change. For further detail on evidence please refer to the RRDF and it’s supporting evidence report. Strategic 'fit' with other regional strategies (See annex VI) This thematic area supports a number of important regional strategies as detailed below: Regional Rural Delivery Framework • Enhancing the quality of, and promotion of, our rural environmental inheritance • Promoting a prosperous, sustainable farming and food sector Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food • SSFF will use RDPE as a key delivery vehicle to achieve its outcomes. SSFF has been embedded within headline Priority 2 of the RRDF to ensure mainstream delivery of the strategy. Regional Forestry Framework • Linkage and expansion of existing areas of woodland • Targeted woodland creation and management • Joint agenda for agriculture and forestry supporting landscape, biodiversity and forestry businesses • Woodland as a viable tool for regeneration of derelict land • Climate change mitigation and adaptation • Address needs of different recreation users and promote accessible woodlands Natural England Strategic outcomes and objectives • A healthy natural environment • Enjoyment of the natural environment • Sustainable use of the natural environment • A secure environmental future Regional Economic Strategy priority actions • Promote sustainable farming and food production and it’s role in the management of rural environmental assets • Implement the Regional Forestry Framework Priority actions • Protecting, enhancing and reversing any decline in the ‘environmental capital’ associated with woodland: biodiversity, soils, water, landscapes and cultural heritage • Conserve and enhance wildlife and biodiversity by; Reversing the long term decline in woodland and farmland birds, Improving the status of habitats and species as identified in the England Biodiversity Strategy, maintaining and restoring nationally and internationally important wildlife sites to safeguard their value and meeting the PSA target for SSSI’s • Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character • Protect and enhance the historic environment and cultural heritage • Promote public access and understanding of the countryside • Protect natural resources including conservation of soils, flood alleviation, improving water quality, tackling water pollution, and mitigating direct emissions of green house gases from agriculture. • Promote and encourage sustainable forest management including a priority on restoration of Ancient Woodland • Creation of woodland where it will make up shortfalls in the provision of environmental services and benefits, and increase resilience and facilitate adaptation to climate change • Regeneration of derelict land through woodland creation • Provision of environmental services and quality of life benefits from environmental assets, particularly: recreational access and health benefits • Tackle climate change through protection of carbon sinks and enhanced production of renewable energy and materials which will contribute to overall reduction in emissions. • Enable our habitats and species to adapt through buffering and extension. Delivery and targeting The activities above will be delivered through Axis II of the RDPE primarily by Natural England and the Forestry Commission through the Environmental Stewardship (ES) and English Woodland Grant Schemes (EWGS). There is an intention to engage with local and sub-regional partnerships in respect of the LEADER approach and the priority actions outlined above will be supported through measures in Axis I & III. For a balance of measures see table 1. Targeting for ES occurs via a consultative process resulting in Targeting Statements based on Joint Character Areas. Natural England will undertake a comprehensive review of these statements in 2007 and will actively engage with sub regional interests as part of this process. Elements of EWGS are spatially targeted through the Public Benefit Recording System. Targeting will be reviewed regularly, especially in the context of potential for flexibility through a LEADER-style approach. See Annex 1 for scheme priorities. Hill Farm Allowance, in its current form, will continue to operate until 2008 and will then be subject to change.

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4.3 Theme Three Enhancing opportunity & quality of life in rural areas Summary evidence base Rural areas have a higher concentration of lower turnover businesses and a higher concentration of very small businesses, presenting challenges for business support and investment. Economic growth through indigenous new enterprises in Cumbria is higher than average in England and self employment is higher in rural areas; this should be exploited. Micro businesses form a significant part of the rural economy. Strategic 'fit' with other regional strategies (See annex VI) This thematic area supports a number of important regional strategies as detailed below: Regional Rural Delivery Framework • Strengthen the central role of key service centres by placing them at the heart of socio-economic growth and regeneration activity in lagging rural areas. • Ensuring fair access to services for rural communities • Empowering rural communities and addressing rural social exclusion Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food • SSFF will use RDPE as a key delivery vehicle to achieve its outcomes. SSFF has been embedded within headline Priority 2 of the RRDF to ensure mainstream delivery of the strategy. Regional Forestry Framework • Developing and supporting woodland businesses • Woodland owners to develop a multi-purpose approach and engage with tourism & leisure bodies to promote accessible woodland Natural England Strategic outcomes & objectives • Improve places for people to enjoy the natural environment Regional Economic Strategy priority actions • Diversify economic base and support sectors with growth potential focusing on lagging areas • Investing in quality public realm, greenspace and environmentally quality focused on Key Service Centres

Priority actions • Build on entrepreneurial culture to improve sustainable, higher value business formation • Greater socio-economic functionality of multi-use centres • Initiatives that improve the quality of rural tourism • Initiatives that enhance the capacity of rural communities to work together including the use of sustainable renewable technologies • Implementing evidenced good practice in rural service provision in other parts of the region following on from the Lancashire Rural Pathfinder • Stimulate demand and capacity to increase recreational/access opportunities • Small scale regeneration of derelict, underused and neglected land and buildings in rural areas • Enhance long-term viability and earning capacity of existing micro-enterprises • Address low wage economy in the North West • Develop rural leadership in the region Delivery and targeting Delivered by the NWDA and its partners under Axis III of the RDPE, for a balance of measures see table I. The priority actions will be delivered where possible through sub-regional delivery bodies, using the LEADER approach where appropriate. The spatial targeting of this theme will include special attention to the Defra defined economically lagging districts and sparse rural districts. Support will be directed at those businesses that have the potential to deliver local impact, eg micro and startup businesses. . Consideration will also be given to projects that provide access to services where this will assist in undertaking an environmentally-based activity and activity creating employment that improves the condition/accessibility/interpretation of natural and cultural features.

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4.4

Theme Four

Developing skills, knowledge transfer and capacity building Summary evidence base Employers are less likely to train staff in rural Northwest than elsewhere in the UK and there is evidence pointing to lower levels of entrepreneurial skills and poorer management skills. There is also some evidence that people in the region's rural areas do not acquire skills because employers do not demand them. The NW Woodlands Skills Issues Paper published in 2004 identifies issues such as lack of access to training, lack of skills, inaccessibility of funding, lack of support and a lack of continuity of income as important. A number of rural towns suffer from a negative 'travel to work exchange', with highly skilled workers travelling from rural areas to major conurbations to work.

Strategic 'fit' with other regional strategies See annex VI This thematic area supports a number of important regional strategies as detailed below: Regional Rural Delivery Framework • A flexible and skilful rural workforce that is able to adapt to and exploit new growth opportunities within local economies • Work with training network providers to increase the availability and diversity of vocational training, specific to the farming and food sector. • Effective advocacy of the needs of rural communities enabling access to necessary personal skills development • Inclusion of community representatives in programme management (e.g. LEADER model) • Support skills training to assist business expansion and diversification, focusing on IT and digital technology skills, business improvement techniques and up-skilling in existing workforces Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food • SSFF will use RDPE as a key delivery vehicle to achieve its outcomes. SSFF has been embedded within headline Priority 2 of the RRDF to ensure mainstream delivery of the strategy. Regional Forestry Framework • The woodland and forestry sector needs specialist training provision to meet specific needs Natural England Strategic outcomes & objectives • Improve quality of environmental land management through development and adoption of sustainable practices Regional Economic Strategy priority actions • Develop a skilled workforce in rural areas to enable businesses to diversify and expand • Develop world class management/leadership and environmental management skills Priority actions • Improved skill access and employment within the farming, food and forestry sectors • Work with training network providers to increase the availability and diversity of vocational training • Initiatives that tackle the root causes of low performance in the rural economy • Knowledge transfer and innovation • Leadership development • Community capacity building

Delivery and targeting This cross-cutting theme will be delivered by a range of partners across all Axes of the RDPE. For a full breakdown of measures see Table 1. Programmes given priority under this theme may include ICT, sparse rural areas/upland (as defined by Defra), training in conservation management, new technical skills, sustainable land management practices, leadership, networking and communication skills, knowledge transfer, and landscape scale activities. All training/skills, including business support proposals must not duplicate any existing or potential mainstream or ESF provision, therefore will focus on non-accredited skills, sector specialist and NVQ level IIII

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4.5 Themes, Axes and Measures Code (Fiche) Axis 1 111 114 115 121 122 123 124 125

Article

Articles 20 (a)(1) and 21 Articles 20(s)(iii) and 24 Articles 20(a)(iv) and 25 Articles 20(b)(i) and 26 Articles 20(b)(iii) and 27 Articles 20(b)(iii) and 28 Articles 20(b)(iv) and 29 Articles 20(b)(v) and 30

Theme 1

Theme 2

x x x x x x x x

Theme 3

Theme 4

Axis IV

x

x

x x x

x

x x x

x

Axis II 212

Articles 36(a)(ii) and 37

214 216 221 223 225 227

Articles 36 (a)(iv) and 39 Articles 36(a)(vi) and 41 Articles 36(b)(i) and 43 Articles 36 (b)(iii) and 45 Articles 36(b)(v) and 47 Articles 36(b)(vi) and 49

x x x x x x x

Axis III 311 312 313 321 323 331

Articles 52(a)(i) and 53 Articles 52(a)(iii) and 54 Articles 52(a)(iii) and 55 Articles 52(b)(i) and 56 Article 57 Article 58

341

Article 59

x x x

x x x x x x x

x x

x x x x x x x

x x

Over the life of the programme it is an aspiration that linkages are developed for Theme 2 measures. 4.6

Targeting delivery

An overarching priority throughout the programme is value for money and the need to ensure that funds dispensed through the RPDE, lever the greatest possible levels of social, environmental and/or economic gain. The targeting for Axis I and III will be both thematic and spatial, with one initial tier of targeting being directed at the Defra defined economically lagging districts and, at a deeper level, specific pockets of deprivation and need. Where there are no lagging districts, the Public Benefit Recording System approach will assist the identification of need and opportunity. The current Regional Rural Board encourages the us of the Public Benefit Recording System (PBRS), approach that has proven potential to help direct and prioritise funding using geographical information systems, where they can unlock the greatest level of social, environmental and economic gain. The core ethos behind PBRS takes in two principle criteria: •

The economic, social and environmental quality and cross functionality of a site, woodland or other area are considered as the predominant driver, and

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Such quality and cross functionality can only be delivered via holistic (economic, social and environmental) entrepreneurship and leadership.

Importantly for the RDPE the PBRS can help to enhance integration of activity between differing policy areas or funding regimes and it provides a evidence base to show value for money and additionality. The FC is using PBRS to target elements of it’s English Woodland Grant Scheme as are several of the sub regions for their socio-economic allocations. Targeting for Environmental Stewardship Schemes takes the form of targeting statements, based on a consultative landscape scale approach using "Joint Character Areas". These statements will be subject to strategic revision in 2007 and Natural England will actively engage with regional and sub regional stakeholders as part of this process. 4.7

Targets for the Programme

RDPE is a key tool for achieving Defra’s aims and objectives including improving the rural economy and accessibility of services for rural people. Currently there are a number of Defra Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets that RDPE can contribute towards: •

Reduce gap in productivity between the least well performing rural areas (the Defra defined economically lagging districts) and the English median

• • • •

Improved accessibility of services for rural people More customer focussed, competitive and sustainable farming & food sectors At least 95% (by area) of the region’s SSSI’s are in favourable condition by 2010 To reverse the decline in farmland and woodland bird populations by 2020

The Regional Economic Strategy (RES) will also guide the RDPE, in particular the eight, ambitious short term targets it sets for the region to achieve by 2009. RDPE will make a contribution to these regional targets. These are: • • • • • • • •

Achieve economic growth above the England average Create 150,000 net new jobs, 80,000 in ‘knowledge occupations Raise the company formation rate to 21,000 per year Reduce the number of people with no qualifications by 80,000 Increase the number of people in the workforce with graduate qualifications by 120,000 Increase the number of people in the workforce by 83,000 Reduce the number of areas which are categorised in the worst 5 per cent nationally in terms of deprivation Reduce CO2 emissions per unit of output

Both Environmental Stewardship and the English Woodland Grant Scheme have their own targets, which will be revised under the new programme and are yet to be agreed. Priorities for the 2 schemes in the region are given in Annex 1.

4.8

Reviewing Targets

As the RDPE is a seven year programme there will be a need to adjust and further develop targeting in response to recognised and agreed shifts in priorities. The opportunity to re-visit the priorities and targeting of Axis I & III sits comfortably with the timescales for refreshing other regional strategies and particularly the Region’s Economic Strategy. During the course of this programme Natural England is committed to engaging with local, sub regional and regional stakeholders in the review of its statements and targets. The ES targeting statements will be reviewed throughout the programme to ensure they continue to meet current challenges and priorities. For forestry, as well as new national priorities, the RFF 3 year action plan cycle will inform the reviewing of targets for the FC and EWGS.

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4.9

The use of a LEADER Approach

The LEADER approach will be integral to delivery of much of the RDPE programme in the Northwest and form the basis of a delivery platform across substantial parts of the region. Sub-Regional Partners have been invited to identify and develop areas, partnerships and proposals that are consistent with the regional priorities identified and are working together to develop the LEADER approach. The sub regional partnerships are currently developing their LEADER ideas. It is expected that up to 20% of Axis I (excluding voluntary modulation funds) and up to 40% of Axis III will be spent under LEADER. The goal will be to demonstrate a true community-led approach to rural regeneration across all Axes. An open and transparent selection process is required. In the North West this will be through a two phase process. The first stage will be an Expression of Interest submitted to a regional selection panel. The Panel will assess all the Expressions of Interest. Following this partnerships will be invited to develop local strategies. These will be reviewed by the Regional Panel against criteria to be published by November 2007. The Forestry Commission and Natural England will engage with the new LEADER Groups as the approach offers sustainable, holistic and integrated public benefit delivery. They will seek to engage in the development of LEADER in the region and in spite of the constraints in the delivery of Axis 2 funding, will seek to align elements of their grant funding in agreed priority areas developed with the LAG's. Local Partnerships will need to consider the following: European and National Guidance The following paragraphs provide some insight to key priorities and issues around forming Local Action Groups and the regional selection process. The European Rural Development Regulation that provides the detail of the requirements can be found on Defra’s website; http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/rdp07_13/default.htm What type of partnership can be a Local Action Group (LAG)? According to the Council Regulation “they must consist of either a group already qualified for the LEADER II or LEADER+ initiatives, or according to the LEADER approach, or be a new group representing partners from the various locally based socio-economic sectors in the territory concerned.” When partnerships consider what the role of a LAG might be, it will be important to look concurrently at the following three elements - how LAGs should be constructed, what LAGs should deliver and where. it is delivered. Only by looking at these three together is it possible to start having an idea what structures might be fit for purpose. Construction – key points • • • •

Must be sufficiently local – in population terms this means 5-150,000 Must be public-private partnership Non-public sector representatives must make up at least 50% at decision making level Must be multi-sectoral – in other words they cannot have a single focus such as tourism or access to services but must instead have a fully integrated approach to rural development LAG delivery • • • • •

Must be capable of drawing up and subsequently implementing their own local development strategy Their strategy must be multi-sectoral Their strategy must be bottom-up (meaning community involvement in developing the strategy as well as individual projects) They will choose projects to be financed under the strategy They will use their budget to: implement their strategy; implement co-operation projects; run the local action group (including capacity building)

Key here are the bottom-up nature of the approach and the autonomy that the partnerships need to be given. The approach is about identifying issues as well as implementing a strategy to solve them. RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

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The areas to be covered by LAGs • • • •

The areas should be well-identified sub-regional rural territories Should be coherent they should be within the population limits of 5,000 and 150,000 inhabitants other than in exceptional circumstances offer sufficient critical mass in terms of human, financial and economic resources to support a viable development strategy

LAG areas must therefore have a sufficient local identity. Given the population criteria most LAGs are unlikely to cover more than one or two districts. The requirement to be coherent and well-identified would, for example, rule out a dispersed grouping of market towns unless there was an overarching LAG that covered the whole area. Regional Priorities To promote delivery of priorities at a more local level Regional Partners have developed the following : • • • • • • •

An ability to comply with LEADER principles and regulations Focus on tackling rural disadvantage Targeting on specific geographical areas, eg lagging districts, pockets of deprivation Track record on delivery or work with experienced delivery agency Potential to lever in additional sources of funding Ability to tailor interventions to local need based on experience Demonstrate commitment to integration across the Axes

Regional Selection Panel This will consist of a representative of the NWDA, GONW representing Defra, Natural England, Forestry Commission, Regional Assembly, Regional Skills Council, Environment Agency; Chaired by Chair of Rural Affairs Forum, or their nominated representative

5.

Unlocking value and sustainability

Successful implementation of the Regional implementation Plan will depend on the 3 key delivery partners and a range of stakeholders being committed to working in partnership. The plan also needs to be flexible enough to respond to new challenges. Natural England will be responsible for the delivery of Environmental Stewardship Schemes (in addition to the existing work connected to the legacy agri-environment schemes). The Forestry Commission will be responsible for delivering the English Woodland Grant Scheme and the Farm Woods Payment Scheme as well as commitments under the preceding Woodland Grant Scheme and also the Farm Woods Premium Scheme once transferred. A large proportion of the funding allocation from Axis II is already assigned to existing commitments, initially giving limited flexibility. Axis II funding will also be used to support the successor to the Hill Farm Allowance Scheme. The important role that Axis II has in helping to secure the economic viability of land-based businesses and communities must be seen as a key part of unlocking value and sustainability. NWDA is managing the legacy commitments for the ‘Project Based Schemes’ of the ERDP as well as delivering the new programme for Axes I, III and IV from 2007. NWDA are developing delivery of these axes at sub regional level. These sub regional partnerships already have good working relationships with Natural England and Forestry Commission, ensuring an integrated approach to delivery. 5.1

Other regional funding sources

In delivering the RDPE, regional partners are committed to ensuring that projects are funded by the most appropriate funding streams. Additionality and the avoidance of double funding will be key, with particular attention given to the range of other available funding sources and how the limited resources from the RDPE might by used to achieve beneficial impact.

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Wherever feasible, the maximum use of mainstream funding opportunities will be achieved. RDPE monies will not replicate what can be provided via centrally funded providers. Nor will it be a way of backfilling services where efficiency measures have deemed them non essential. Projects which approach the RDPE programme for funding, where mainstream public sector spending could potentially support the projects, will have to demonstrate that mainstream funding is either not available or inappropriate for their project. For example, some skills training can be provided through schools and colleges via the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for post 16 year olds and so as a result, it is not appropriate for the RDPE to fund provision. Principles Underpinning Delivery of RDPE funded Business Support Since the announcement in the 2006 Budget, government is collectively working within the national policy of Business Support Simplification. This policy drive has the vision of creating easy to access Government support for business which is: Targeted – where it will have greatest impact; Efficient – delivered to get best value for money; Fit for purpose – meets national, regional and local challenges in a changing global economy. Business Link is now the primary access point for publicly funded business support, and will act as the gateway by providing Information, Diagnosis and Brokerage only. All business support funded by RDPE, whether designed and delivered at the regional, sub-regional or local level must be consistent with the regionally coordinated framework and informed by: • •

Regionally agreed priorities and actions The Government’s Business Support Simplification Policy

Sub-regionally, the delivery partners for the RDPE will need to ensure that the principles outlined in this section are adhered to in order to deliver integrated programmes and to avoid overlap or confusion in the minds of potential beneficiaries. See Annex II for more detail on other funding sources. 5.2

Value for money

It is recognised this funding is not the whole solution to the region's challenges. The limited funds available through RDPE mean that appropriate prioritising and targeting needs to take place and levels of support should be proportional to the public benefit. The sub-regional partners are delivery bodies for other funds available in the NW, their knowledge of other regional funding sources will ensure that the most appropriate funding source is utilised ensuring value for money and avoiding duplication. In light of the baseline issues illustrated in the SWOT analysis, rural economic intervention will focus on: • • • •

halting and where possible, reversing decline; tackling the barriers to productivity; bringing new opportunities to rural areas; supporting the activities that are strengthening the rural economy.

The future direction of The Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food (SSFF) will continue to ensure that farm businesses become more market orientated, environmentally sustainable and reconnected with their consumers. The strategy will embrace a wide spectrum of activity, with environmental payments in particular being focused on the delivery of public goods. The aim will be to ensure that farm businesses are environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Central to delivering SSFF will be the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), with farmers having to meet a range of standards for continued receipt of SPS. Complementary to these will be the agri- environmental payments that will be delivered as part of Environmental Stewardship, of which the higher level payments will be competitive and the Forest Environment Payments through EWGS. In addition to the environmental elements of RDPE, Axis I and III activity should also aim to help farm businesses adjust to the changing economic environment by helping to embed a culture of delivering value for money and increasing the overall efficiency and sustainability of their business.

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Investment in skills, enterprise and innovation is identified through the SWOT and sits as a priority theme for the NW. RDPE support will be directed towards low pay, low productivity, economically lagging areas and upland communities. The North West Regional Implementation Plan has been subject to a sustainability appraisal. 5.3

Demarcation with other EU Funding

RDPE is one of four European Funds that the North West (and other regions) is able to utilise. The other funding streams are: ƒ European Social Fund (ESF) ƒ European Fisheries Fund (EFF) ƒ European Structural Funds (ERDF) ƒ In addition, the region is able to draw on European Investment Bank (EIB) funding. It is an EU regulatory requirement that there should be complementarity and consistency between interventions financed by these funding streams. There must be clear demarcation criteria in order to avoid any unnecessary overlap and duplication of eligible activities. This demarcation is typically in relation to the types of investments and actions. However, there is also a spatial element, most notably between ERDF and EAFRD/EFF, each of which can potentially support the same types of activities in rural and coastal areas. The demarcation arrangements are complicated by the fact that there is no definitive list of eligible and non-eligible ERDF activities. The activities that are currently regarded as ineligible reflect guidance from the Commission, along with conventions established during previous Programmes. There needs to be a close working relationship between the NWDA and sub-regional delivery bodies for EAFRD, the ERDF programme executive and the ESF programme executive in GONW to ensure linkages in commissioning frameworks and potential double bidding by applicants are avoided. European Social Fund

There

will be separate national ESF programmes for Skills and Employment co-ordinated in the UK by DWP. The England ESF Programme is being delivered at regional level via Regional ESF Plans. The Regional Framework for the North West of England 2007-2013 is the relevant plan for this region. The vast majority of UK ESF funding will be administered and spent through co-financing arrangements with (predominantly) the LSC and JobCentre Plus. ESF activity will focus upon:

o o

Attracting more people into employment, especially disadvantaged groups and the economically inactive; and Improving the skills of potential and current workers to improve individual progression and business competiveness.

The ESF programme priorities for spend do not fully align with the aspirations of Regional Skills Partnerships (particularly around higher level skills) and will instead focus in the main (although not exclusively) on supporting the Government’s Skills for Life strategy, which focuses on basic skills (i.e. up to NVQ Level 2), with a limited amount of funding at Level 3 and above. It is essential that linkages between ESF and RDPE are developed, ensuring that the potential benefits arising from the complementary nature of interventions are realised. European Regional Structural Funds North West Operational Plan resources will be available to support to the rural areas of the North West. This will include support for business development, support for disadvantaged rural communities, in particular in terms of addressing worklessness and access to employment opportunities. It is not enough, therefore, to simply assume that rural needs can be addressed through the RDPE Programme. Much of the delivery in the North West RIP will be co-ordinated through the sub-regional partnerships and the NWDA, in the same way as envisaged for sub-regionally focused actions in the OP. Given that the ERDF Programme will be integrated across urban and rural areas, guidance on demarcation will therefore be needed for SRPs. It is also a requirement of the Commission that demarcation between them is clearly set out. The clearest potential for overlap between ERDF and EAFRD is Axis 3, given its emphasis on rural enterprise, accessibility to work and skills. Support for rural enterprise creation and development of microenterprises has a high potential for overlap with the ERDF OP Priority 1, Action Area 1, Developing New RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

19


Enterprise. ERDF will not directly support agricultural and forestry activities. This largely removes any potential for overlap with Axis 1 and Axis 2 (as support under Axis 2 is targeted on farmers and forestry and environmental activity). ERDF is therefore mainly targeted on addressing rural issues as part of interventions that seek to boost wider sub-regional and regional economic competitiveness, for example: Developing the knowledge-based economy at a strategic level. Providing support for supply chains Supporting enterprise in rural areas (including social enterprises), and the establishment of high valueadded businesses before major CAP reforms take hold Enhancing competitiveness among SMEs. Promoting resource efficiency among SMEs. Building sustainable communities. Conserving and enhancing heritage assets Transport schemes to link areas of worklessness with Regional Strategic Sites and other areas of strong employment growth Supporting rural tourism through the Regional Tourism Strategy European Fisheries Fund The current Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) will become part of mainstream national activity under the Common Fisheries Policy, and is to be replaced by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). EFF seeks to promote a UK fishing sector that is sustainable and profitable in the long term, thereby supporting coastal communities dependent on the fishing industry and promoting social inclusion where this support cannot be provided elsewhere. The fund can be used to promote investment in innovation and technology, environmental best practice, developing efficient supply chains and in port infrastructure and operations. The following table summarises the priorities for the different European funding streams available in rural areas in England over the 2007-2013 Programming period:

EAFRD

ERDF

To build profitable, innovative and competitive farming, food and forestry sectors, that meet the needs of consumers and make a net positive contribution to the environment To improve the environment and countryside To enhance opportunity in rural areas, in a way that harnesses and builds upon environmental quality

For Convergence regions: To promote innovation and knowledge transfer

To mobilise the development potential of rural areas in a way that stimulates innovation to the benefit of the local area

To stimulate enterprise and support successful business

To stimulate enterprise and business development To improve accessibility and connectivity For competitiveness and employment regions: To promote innovation and knowledge transfer

ESF

EFF

Extending employment opportunities by tackling barriers to work faced by people who are unemployed or disadvantaged in the labour market Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce by training people who lack basic skills and good qualifications

To provide a longterm sustainable future for the fishing industry through promoting investment in innovation and technology

To ensure sustainable development, production and consumption To build sustainable communities

To promote environmental best practice in the fisheries sector To tackle social exclusion and promote long-term prosperity in communities traditionally dependent on the fishing industry where this support cannot be provided elsewhere

Complementarity and demarcation between ERDF, EAFRD and EFF RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

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The Regional Development Agencies will deliver the ERDF, and the socio-economic elements of the RDPE. The RDAs will ensure coherence in the day to day management of the socio-economic support under the RDPE and the ERDF. They will ensure that work carried out at the regional level under the two funds is complementary, and robust project development and selection processes will ensure that any duplication is avoided. The RDAs will also be required to work closely with the Leader groups to ensure demarcation on the ground. These processes begin with the clear establishment of demarcation criteria at the regional level. More detail on demarcation between activities is provided at annex V. Demarcation table formally approved by the commission is included. 5.4

For completeness the ERDF

The balance of regional measures

Table I below indicates the proposed level of funding to be allocated through the RIP across each Axis Area. The sub regional allocations are provisional at this stage. The prioritisation was undertaken by mapping regional priorities from all the relevant strategies, informed by the experience of the delivery partners. See the table in Annex VI for the full analysis. In the early stages of delivery of the new Programme, provision will need to be made for the financial commitments resulting from Agreements entered into under the previous (2000-2006) England Rural Development Programme. This will inevitably have an impact on the region’s ability, initially, to support significant levels of new activity in line with this Regional Implementation Plan. It is clear that much of the work carried forward from the previous programme will be consistent with the priorities identified for the new programme period, but where priorities have changed, allowance will be made to honour existing contractual commitments. Table II shows indicative allocations between the five sub-regions. The allocation has been agreed between the sub-regional partners and is based on the formula agreed by Defra and the RDAs nationally to allocate RDPE funding across England. Table III Table III indicates potential activity that will be delivered through LEADER

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TABLE I

Use of Measures in North West by percentage (%) Code (Fiche)

Article

Measure

%

VM %

Axis I 111

Articles 20 (a)(1) and 21

Vocational training and information actions

35

35

114

Articles 20(a)(iii) and 24

Use of advisory services

5

5

115

Articles 20(a)(iv) and 25

Setting up of management, relief & advisory services

5

5

121

Articles 20(b)(i) and 26

Modernisation of agricultural holdings

5

5

122

Articles 20(b)(iii) and 27

Improving the economic value of forests

5

5

123

Articles 20(b)(iii) and 28

Adding value to agricultural and forestry products

20

20

124

Articles 20(b)(iv) and 29

Co-operation for the development of new products

20

20

125

Articles 20(b)(v) and 30

infrastructure related to the development & adaptation of agriculture & forestry

5

5

TOTAL

100

Leader %[1] x x x x x x x x

100

20

Axis II 212

Articles 36(a)(ii) and 37

Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas

16

214

Articles 36 (a)(iv) and 39

Ag - Agri-environment Payments

70

216

Articles 36(a)(vi) and 41

Non productive investment

1.5

221

Articles 36(b)(i) and 43

First afforestation of agricultural land

5.1

223

Articles 36 (b)(iii) and 45

First afforestation of non-agricultural land

0.6

225

Articles 36(b)(v) and 47

Forest-environment payments

5.1

227

Articles 36(b)(vi) and 49

For - Support for non-productive investments

1.8

TOTAL

100

Axis III 311

Articles 52(a)(i) and 53

Diversification into non-agricultural activities

25

VM % 32

312

Articles 52(a)(iii) and 54

Support creation& development of micro-enterprises

20

32

313

Articles 52(a)(iii) and 55

Encouragement of tourism

15

10

321

Articles 52(b)(i) and 56

Basic services

17

5

323

Articles 57

Conservation and upgrading of rural heritage

3

1

331

Article 58

Training and information

5

5

341

Article 59

Skills acquisition, animation & implementation of local development strategies

15

15

TOTAL

x x x x x x x

100

100

40

1[1] X indicates measures which may be delivered by LEADER Groups

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Table II NW sub-regional % allocation of axes I and III funds – does not include any voluntary modulation funds Cumbria Lancashire Gt Manchester Cheshire & Warrington

Axis 1 44.84 29.03 6.25 17.98

Axis III 44.88 21.19 9.27 14.56

Total 44.86 25.11 7.76 16.27

Gt Merseyside

1.84

10.2

6.00

Total

99.94

100.05

100.00

Calculation of allocation of funding to sub-regions is based on Defra methodology to allocate national funds to Regional Development Agencies. Table III Axis IV - LEADER Percentage breakdown of the LEADER budget 41

Articles 61 to 65

Implementing strategies

local

development

411

- competitiveness

412

- environment/land management

413

- quality of life/diversification

421 431

Articles 61 – 65, 59 & 68 Articles 61 to 65, 59 & 68

30

53

Implementing cooperation projects 2 Running the local action group, acquiring skills & animating the territory as referred in article 59 15 TOTAL

100

6 Measuring success and communicating change The above sections of the RIP detail how the RDPE will be delivered across the region, what the region's priorities will be in delivering RDPE programmes and what the expected split will be within each of the Axes when it comes to funding allocation. In this concluding section of the RIP the indicators for the programme are established, an outline plan for communicating the RIP is set out and a commitment to equality and diversity is detailed. 6.1

Indicators, monitoring and evaluation

Indicators, monitoring and evaluation will be agreed as part of national programme and publicised when the national programme is approved. 6.2

Regional Communication

The North West Regional Implementation Plan will be published on GONW, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Natural England and Forestry Commission websites and linked to the Rural Affairs Forum internet site. A web-based consultation exercise on the North West RIP was undertaken in November 2006. All members of the Regional Rural Affairs Forum and previous consultees were invited to comment. The document was updated to reflect these views where possible. Sub regional partnerships have undertaken their own consultations on individual Sub regional RIP’s via events or the web. Delivery partners will continue to engage with stakeholders to update on programme progress.

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6.3. Governance Arrangements The NW RIP has been produced under the auspices of the current Rural Practitioners Steering Group (RPSG). The RPSG has delegated the drafting of the RIP to a drafting group consisting of NWDA, Natural England, FC and GONW. All of the principal delivery partners have contributed to the drafting of this Plan and all are committed to the pursuit of the themes and priorities that have been identified and to the integrated delivery of RDPE in the Northwest. The current RPSG members on behalf of all regional partners have signed off the original version of the RIP via group e-mail during week commencing 26 March. This version updates the original draft to reflect changes and comments since that date. Future updates will be agreed by the proposed Regional Strategy Group. The format of Regional Rural governance are being reviewed at the time of the final draft of this document. Provisional governance arrangements are: RDPE Delivery/Steering Group – reporting to Rural Strategy Group (formerly Rural Board) Comprises: North West Development Agency) Forestry Commission ) Natural England ) Delivery Bodies Government Office North West – Observer on behalf of DEFRA Independent third party chair Responsibilities • Oversee programme delivery in the region • Review performance and RIP • Monitor cross axis integration • Monitor LEADER LAG activity • Report on performance, programme management issues (focussing on integration, partnership and best practice) to Regional Rural Strategic Group, North West Rural Affairs Forum, National Programme Monitoring Committee • Capture best practice • Communications – agree consistency on respective websites etc Functional Relationships • Primary accountability to North West Rural Strategic Group • Additional reporting responsibilities to NWRAF, National Programme Monitoring Committee • Further reporting to leads of RSG task and finish groups Other detail • Group to meet quarterly • Quarterly report submitted to RSG • Annual report produced and promoted via NWRAF event, submitted to national PMC • Draw on NWRAF website as communication point 6.4 Ensuring Equality and Diversity In delivering the programme, steps will be taken to ensure equality and diversity is addressed. situation will be monitored regularly.

The

In addition to the Equal Opportunity Policies operated by the Lead partners they will ensure that the systems and procedures of partners ensure everyone is treated equally and that none is discriminated on the grounds of disability, gender, ethnic origins, age, etc. In order to address and overcome any possible inequality, measures and procedures will be established and integrated into the programmes everyday work. These measures will cover all aspects of the programme. Projects will be required to inform how they will overcome any inequality on Access to Services, recruitment of beneficiaries and delivery.

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Annex I Proposed Priority action areas through delivery of Environmental Stewardship and English Woodland Grant Schemes in the North West. Natural Resource Protection • Target natural resource protection towards high priority catchments and SSSIs in the NW region. • Work with Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme to improve water quality in 5 priority river catchments in the region (Bassenthwaite Lake, Eden, Waver, Wampool and Wyre river catchments) • Work through the Farm Advice Unit with ADAS on the Environment Sensitive Farming programme, and with FWAG and other delivery agents to promote pesticide, nutrient, farm manure, waste and soil management practices that protect soil and minimise pollution of air and water • Work with The Environment Agency towards the objectives of the Ribble Basin WFD Pilot • In partnership with the Environment Agency, promote good fertiliser management in NVZ areas, awareness of new Farm Waste Regulations, and adoption of new opportunities for agricultural waste recycling in the NW region. • Target upland moorland sites with measures to reduce soil and the resulting moorland habitat loss by grip blocking and extensified management • Work through the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food to deliver environmental support and advice that will result in reduced diffuse pollution from agriculture Heritage • Target areas of international significance to ensure that they are under optimum management including the Hadrian's Wall WHS and other designations • Target Scheduled Monuments and other significant Historical Environment sites at risk especially SAMS and SMs • Utilise the Historic Landscape Characterisation research to maintain and enhance historic landscape character where appropriate • Target priority traditional farm buildings and retain them in appropriate use • Utilise the historic environment as a driver to encourage people to access and enjoy the countryside Habitats and Species • Support the long-term improvement in farmland and woodland bird populations in the NW through improved land management for birds. The priorities are: • upland and lowland wet grassland habitat restoration, to improve the species status of breeding snipe, curlew, redshank, lapwing and yellow wagtail • Provide year round habitat requirements for lowland farmland birds especiallyfor corn bunting, tree sparrow, grey partridge and lapwing • Management of moorland fringe for black grouse, twite and ring Ousel • Support the creation and improved management of key habitats in the NW, including: • Lowland raised mires • Blanket bog • Standing open water • Fens • Lowland and upland hay meadows • Rivers and streams • Coastal and floodplain grazing marsh • Create at least an additional 3,100 ha of habitat to ensure the long-term viability of existing seminatural habitat resources in the NW by 2015. (This is a minimum and the review of national BAP targets by end 2006 will lead to an increase in the NW target) • Support species recovery in the NW through delivery of the priority actions in the 5 Local Biodiversity Action Plans in the NW. Enable delivery of the 5 Local Biodiversity Action Plans in the Region • Implement the North West visions for water and wetland habitats networks • Support landscape scale habitat restoration that develop robust habitat networks and increase connectivity between fragmented, rare and isolated wildlife habitats. Improving habitat networks in degraded lowland landscapes and upland moorland are the priority, to permit the migration and dispersal of species and improve the long term viability of their populations SSSI’s

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• • •

Meet the PSA target for SSSIs so that at least 95% (by area) of the region’s SSSIs are in favourable condition by 2010, using Environmental Stewardship as the main tool. This will require at least a 13% (27,000 ha) improvement by the end of 2010 Support the management of SSSIs already meeting the target to maintain and improve their condition and ensure the target is maintained Target habitats to address the key management challenges on the region’s SSSIs are: Moorland/blanket bogs, Upland heath, Upland acid grassland, Standing waters (lakes and wetlands), Limestone pavement and grassland and Semi-natural woodland

Landscape • Target resources at landscape scale actions in support of statutory National Park and AONB management plan delivery • Target resources at landscape scale actions to achieve landscape enhancement via area-based initiatives in the urban fringe e.g. through support of Community Forest Delivery Plans and other areas e.g. Solway Basin • Character areas identified as declining in quality 1998-2006 by Countryside Quality Counts project • Conservation, enhancement and expansion of broadleaf woodland in appropriate situations e.g. upland valleys and margins • Conservation and enhancement of characteristic field boundary patterns and components e.g. stone walls, hedgerows, hedgerow trees, ancient and veteran trees and other important elements of enclosed farmed landscapes e.g. infield trees and other actions that compliment sub-regional landscape assessment/strategies Access • Creation and management of access in urban fringe and providing links between urban and rural areas • Support delivery of Rights of Way Improvement Plans (RoWIPs) and other locally identified access priorities e.g. Community Forest Delivery Plans, regional parks and other area-based initiatives) • Creation of access that links or complements National Trails in the North West – Pennine Way, Pennine Bridleway, Hadrian’s Wall and other strategic sub-regional routes • Integration of isolated CROW access land with wider access infrastructure • Increase public awareness (particularly in disadvantaged and ethnic communities) of the regions’ access and recreational resource and rights and responsibilities • Provision and promotion of new access to archaeological, ecological, cultural assets • Provision and promotion of new educational access Woodland The Regional Forestry Framework ‘The Agenda for growth’ (2005) has 26 priorities and the current action plan (2006-2009) ‘Making it happen’ has 47 priority actions. The schemes have a number of woodland priorities1: ƒ Manage and/or restore woodland non-statutory sites ƒ Management and restoration of woodland UK BAP priority habitats and species to further Biodiversity targets ƒ Management and restoration of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) and Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) ƒ Expanding and linking existing woodland fragments to enhance functional woodland ecosystems ƒ Use of woodland creation for buffering sensitive sites from diffuse pollution and increase resilience and adaptation to climate change ƒ Sustainable woodland management ƒ Native woodland creation ƒ Woodland SSSI’s, especially those in unfavourable condition ƒ Creation of access/community woodland close to people and/or with a demonstrable need, including socio-economic lagging and regeneration areas ƒ Red Squirrels – in specified reserves or buffer zones ƒ Protection of Cultural Heritage ƒ Landscape improvement ƒ Provision of access opportunities ƒ Brownfield Land restoration/reclamation

1 Biomass is not a specific priority under the schemes although it is linked to our priorities for woodland management and restoration. Biomass production was formally delivered via the Energy Crops Scheme, which will have a successor scheme.

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Annex II Regional funding streams Programme Name Regional Economic Strategy - Single Pot Rural Renaissance Structural Funds Rural Social & Community Programme Heritage Lottery Fund

Lead

Description

Timeframe

NWDA

Economic Development/regeneration

To be reviewed in line with RES

NWDA NWDA/ GONW GONW

Economic development /regeneration ERDF (see 6.3 on demarcation) supporting some aspects of rural community development and tackling social exclusion

To 2008 To 2014 To 2008

Heritage Fund

active in supporting regeneration projects

To 2007

Lottery

environmental

Various

English Heritage

Historic Buildings, Monuments and Designed Landscapes ; Regional Capacity Building ;Area Schemes; Repair Grants for Places of Worship (joint scheme with HLF); cathedrals; Provide funding for community and environmental improvement projects

SITA “Enriching Nature Programme” Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) fund

SITA Environment Trust/NW Biodiversity Forum NWDA

Various

Environment Agency’s

Funds on water resources, flood prevention and associated measures;

Various

Learning and Skills Council

Post 16 year old training provision through schools and colleges

Used to address areas of environmental concern in water, waste and energy;

Various judging rounds ongoing To 2008

To 2007

NB: This table does not include sub-regional programmes and funds. Some programmes are managed sub-regionally

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Annex III

Glossary of Terms and Links With a number of layers of policy and strategy outlined in this document, it helps to have a ready reckoner to hand to assist in detailing which action plan, delivery partner or funding programme is being discussed at any one time; this table is an informal guide to the acronyms and terms used in this document. Acronym

What it represents

EAFRD

This is the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, part of the European Union's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). In England it will go by the name of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) from 2007.

MRD

Modernising Rural Delivery, a programme set out in Defra's 2004 Rural Strategy. This strategy set out major new plans for the delivery of rural policy at a regional level, including the creation of a new agency, Natural England, formed from parts of English Nature, the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service.

RDAs

Regional Development Agencies, the sustainable economic development bodies created by Government in 1999. The RDAs have responsibility for Axis I, II and IV under the new RDPE. In the NW the RDA is the Northwest Development Agency To find out more visit www.nwda.co.uk

FC

The Forestry Commission is the Government Department responsible for Forestry in Great Britain. It implements agreed forestry policy on behalf of Ministers. The FC is responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. To find out more visit www.forestry.gov.uk

RDPE

The Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13

NE

Natural England, established in October 2006 and formed out of English Nature, the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service. Responsible with the Forestry Commission for the delivery of Axis II of the RDPE at the regional level. For more information http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about/default.htm

ELS

The Entry Level agri-environment Scheme currently running and which in future will be delivered through the RDPE.

HLS

The Higher Level agri-environment Scheme currently running and which in future will be delivered through the RDPE.

OLS

The Organic Level agri-environment Scheme currently running and which in future will be delivered through the RDPE.

EWGS

The English Woodland Grant scheme delivered by the Forestry Commission which in future will be delivered through the RDPE.

RES (1)

The Regional Economic Strategy first launched by the Northwest Regional development Agency (NWDA) in 2003 and extensively updated in March 2006.

RES (2)

The Rural Enterprise Scheme which along with the Processing and Marketing Grants, Vocational Training Scheme and the Energy Crops (SRC) Producer Groups Scheme Schemes will be replaced by a new socio-economic programme under the RDPE.

LEADER

The LEADER approach is pan-European approach to rural development programmes where opportunities and priorities are identified from the 'bottom-up' by local partnerships or LAGs - local action groups. It is an EU requirement that a minimum of 5 per cent of the RDPE be delivered through the LEADER approach.

LAGS

Local Action Groups

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RIP

Regional Implementation Plans are being prepared in eight regions across England by a range of partners including the RDAs, Forestry Commission and the Natural England. The process has been steered and facilitated by each region’s Government Office. The RIPs will be presented to Defra by December 2006.

SRPs

Sub-regional partnerships are delivering a series of five sub-regional implementation plans for Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

RRDF

The Regional Rural Delivery Framework

RFF

The Regional Forestry Framework entitled 'Agenda for Growth' was launched in 2005. It is one of the key strategies helping to inform this implementation plan.

SFFS

Sustainable Food & Farming Strategy

SWOT

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

SMEs

Small and medium sized enterprises

CAP

Common Agricultural Policy

ESF

European Social Fund. A European Programme to support learning and skills development

GVA

Gross Value Added

NVQ

National Vocational Qualification

PBRS

Public Benefit Recording System

SPS

Single Payment Scheme

Key Links Regional Economic Strategy; http://www.nwda.co.uk North West Rural Delivery Framework and ‘State of the Rural North West Region report http://www.gos.gov.uk/gonw/docs/276882/400859 Regional Forestry Framework www.iwood.org.uk Natural England’s Strategic Direction http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about/default.htm Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food http://www.gonw.gov.uk/gonw/EnvironmentRural/FarmingFood/ Sub-Regional Contacts: Cumbria – Geoff Brown, Fells & Dales LEADER – geoffbrown@fellsanddales.org.uk Lancashire – Janet Baron, Lancashire Economic Partnership – janetb@lancashire-ep.org.uk Cheshire – Fil Prevc, Cheshire County Council – fillip.prevc@cheshire.gov.k Merseyside - Jonathan Jackson, ICEP – jonathan.jackson@knwsley.gov.uk Manchester – Christine Westcott, Manchester Enterprises – Christine.westcott@manchester-enterprises.co.uk

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Annex IV:

Output of the regional SWOT analysis •

Strengths

• • • •

Rural areas host 40 per cent of the region’s businesses; with lower registration/deregistration rates, but higher survival rates and self-employment increases with sparsity Generally the highest performing rural areas are in the vicinity of the major conurbations Competitive property rentals Internationally recognised tourism destination Largest Community Forest area of any region at nearly 13 per cent and well established sub-regional Woodland initiatives High Labour market participation Timber and forestry related industries contribute £435 million to the regions economy and support alomost 70,000 jobs, with 37% of these in rural areas Significant historic/archaeological asset base, designated historic environment assets including; 25,699 Listed Buildings, 1,336 Scheduled Monuments, 136 registered Parks and Gardens and Battlefields, 836 Conservation Areas Two World Heritage Sites at Liverpool and Hadrian’s Wall with two more under consideration for Manchester and the Lake District Internationally and nationally important wildlife resource especially in uplands and on coast 429 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) covering 204,000 ha, 10 European Special Protection Areas (SPAs) covering 155,000 ha and 37 European Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) covering 255,000 ha; Over 1,000km of coastline; including sections of Heritage Coast Highest level of good SSSI management in England High quality landscapes 29 per cent of the North West designated as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); 18 per cent of region is Open Access land and 30 per cent Registered Common Land Major recreational asset base including Over 24,500km of public rights of way and 3 National Trails: the Pennine Way, Hadrian’s Wall Path and Pennine Bridleway Environmental tourism makes major contribution to region’s economy (£770 million in GVA) Strong tradition of collaborative working with many partnerships in place Strong well established sub-regional delivery capacity Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme operating in 4 water catchments and WFD pilot on Ribble Catchment

Weaknesses

• •

Full-time employment drops as sparsity increases 30 per cent lower in sparse areas than urban Despite having 40 per cent of business rural areas contribute only 23 per cent of regional GVA (£21bn) each year mostly by services (63 per cent) and industry (34 per cent) . The farming sector contributes less than 3 per cent of GVA, despite 20 per cent of all rural business being farm businesses. Marginal economic viability of traditional farming systems, especially in the uplands Low skills within existing workforce inhibiting diversification and expansion Low turnover firms trading below VAT registration levels resulting in poor contribution to rural economy overall Lack of full-time employment opportunities and of alternative employment options in uplands Low value jobs maintaining low GVA, lack of rural workspace and lack of co-operative working between producers Lack of processing facilities for organic producers (8 per cent of England’s organic processors based in NW) and the achievement of quality and continuity of supply Significant areas of rural economic underperformance (with Defra Public Service Agreement 4 rural top tier indicator districts in Copeland, Allerdale, Eden and West Lancashire and second tier indicator districts in Carlisle, Crewe & Nantwich, Lancaster, Pendle, South Lakeland and Ribble Valley) Access to services is variable across the rural North West and is particularly problematic in sparse areas, particularly for health services, post offices, job centres, and business support Overall, 10 per cent of rural households do not own a car, increasing to 25 per cent in sparse towns and 30 per cent in sparse dispersed areas, lack of public transport House prices in rural areas are 50 per cent higher than in urban areas, presenting affordability problems Reduction in young people entering agriculture and forestry Significant proportion of the region at moderate to high erosion risk, primarily due to agricultural practices Diffuse pollution and rising nutrient levels as a result of agricultural practice. The region has 17 per cent of country’s most polluted rivers General poor quality of upland and lowland wet grassland habitats Habitat (including woodland) fragmentation and isolation reducing opportunities for species to transfer locations Large areas of sensitive landscapes including uplands, low-lying coastal areas, post industrial farmed landscapes and urban edge farm land 18 per cent of SSSI’s in unfavourable condition especially some habitats 61 per cent of woodland SSSI are in unfavourable condition Declining area of land organically managed Occurrence of unfavourable/inappropriate land management practices e.g. overgrazing, drainage, burning Most derelict land of any English region at 7.5 per cent from the Derelict, Underused and Neglected Land 2002 (DUNL) - of the 3893 sites covering 26,385 hectares over a third of the area is in rural areas One of least wooded regions at 6.8 per cent and approx 45000 ha of under-managed woodland and ASNW covering 1% Large area of common land - 30 per cent of England’s common land presents significant issues

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Opportunities

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Build on and stimulate an entrepreneurial culture to improve business formation Encourage LEADERship and capacity building within farming and rural communities A base of poor performing business that could be supported to improve turnover and growth and strengthen their business Enhance the long term viability and earning capacity of existing micro-enterprises Development of key service centres as central part of the rural economy Diversification of agricultural sector as a consequence of CAP reform Ability of rural areas to be flexible to support more options for new generations of business and society Integration of commuter base into social capital Countering the flow of out-migration Implementing good practice in rural service provision from the Rural Pathfinder Provide easy access to skills, eg training networks, to encourage micro businesses to diversify and expand Further development of Sub-regional partnership arrangements for programme delivery Implementation of the Sustainable Strategy for Farming and Food (SSFF) in the NW reconnecting farmers and the food supply chain and encouraging collaborative working Encouragement of innovative initiatives which will add value to agricultural and woodland products and/or create new markets Emphasis on high value food products and regional quality products Increase the area of land entering organic conversion Optimising use of Environmental Stewardship Schemes Support active/protective management of Ancient Woodlands to restore and conserve their biodiversity value Potential for more benefits from woodlands such as biomass, wood-fuel, health, tourism and recreation Adding value to Woodland creation/restoration Emphasis for woodland and non food crops to provide a source for renewable energy Increasing market demand for added value products eg linked to environmental/organic produce Stimulate demand and capacity to increase recreational/access opportunities and increase Natural Tourism Regeneration of derelict land Reducing green house gas emissions and adapt to inevitable climate change Build on improving water quality through influencing management of agricultural land in water catchments (92 per cent rivers found to be in fair or good condition) Influencing land managers to mitigate flooding through inception of rainfall and rates of water release Landscape scale approach to land management Implementation of AONB and NP statutory plans Linkage to Regional Spatial Strategy Maximising the effects of CAP reform in NW uplands could provide a wide range of public benefits – including biodiversity, wildlife, cultural and historic landscapes/features, carbon sequestration, water resources, access and enjoyment opportunities

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Threats • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Declining GVA performance of agriculture sector A focus of activity away from sparse areas Narrow economic base of sparse areas Limited availability of local work force and businesses operating in areas remote from growth Severe Decline in business and financial services support Polarisation of less sparse and sparse areas Continued out-migration of key age-bands Out-migration caused by low wages and high housing costs Decrease of service accessibility in sparse areas Potentially competing demands on the environment Poor management of SSSI’s leading to decline in quality Impact of climate change due to green house gasses already emitted Landscape quality and character changes through urban pressure Continuation of unfavourable land management practices Ageing profile of farmers/loss of traditional management skills Significant proportion of the region’s soils area at moderate to very high erosion risk

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Annex V

Demarcation with Other EU funding streams The NW Competitiveness Programme of ERDF will provide significant resources to the rural areas covered by the Rural Development Programme for England. This will include support for business development, support for disadvantaged rural communities, in particular in terms of addressing worklessness and access to employment opportunities. It is not enough, therefore, to simply assume that rural needs can be addressed through the RDPE Programme. As such, there are potential areas for overlap between the two Programmes. The tables below set out where the overlap exists, and how actions will be distinguished.

Operational Programme Priority OP1: Stimulating Enterprise and Supporting Growth in Target and Markets

Field of Activity – (list of measures eligible under another Community support instrument)

Types of operations EAFRD will support

Types of operations EFF will support

Demarcation criteria for rural/coastal areas

AA1.1:Mentoring: providing expert ongoing coaching, advice and counselling support to early stage entrepreneurs from experienced mentors with proven business track-record in national and international markets. Advice & Guidance: a structured programme of enterprise support for entrepreneurs, alongside Business Link as the gateway to accessing other services. This support needs to be delivered to nationally recognised and accredited standards. Financial Support for New Starts: where a gap in the start-up finance market has been proven and evaluated against existing solutions additional forms of finance support could be supported. This would in the form of grants, loans or equity as defined within the regional 2 investment framework. This will abide by the principles in table 3.3 . Specialist Business Premises: where failure in the market for specialist business premises can be proven gap-funding schemes to support private sector development and management could be supported. This might include incubation facilities and managed workspace, including highly flexible facilities for very nascent businesses. Development of and support for social enterprises that are likely to fulfil the high growth criteria through the above activities. This Action Area will also support innovative approaches to tackling issues related to cultural barriers to enterprise and the promotion of self-employment as a career option: promotional and marketing activities which raise the profile of enterprise to current employees, the unemployed and to students/learners (in FE/HE).

Diversification into nonagricultural activities: Support farm, beneficiary must be member of the farm household diversification - direct support to budding rural enterprises in the form of start up grants Support for micro businesses, employing less than 10, small scale investments in lagging districts or other areas showing indications of rural disadvantage

EFF will support fish processing, marketing and aquaculture, including premiums for young fishermen for purchase of first vessel. Such enterprise support under EFF covers enterprises employing up to 750 employees or recording a turnover of under â‚Ź200 million.

ERDF will support enterprise and business start-up support in all parts of the region with the potential for high growth, except those engaged in agriculture, forestry, fishing and fish processing (which will be supported by EAFRD and EFF).

AA1.2: 3 Centres of Excellence : specialist premises, facilities and/or

Training for farming and forestry businesses. Non accredited

Promotion of investment in innovation and technology for

ERDF will support higher value added activity in target regional sectors,

ERDF will not support microenterprises unless these have the potential for high growth and are in priority sectors. Other rural SMEs (i.e. micro-enterprises, those not in sectors targeted by ERDF) will be supported through EAFRD. The EFF may provide premiums for young fishermen for the purchase of their first vessel.

2

This could include access to a range of instruments specifically designed to support micro enterprises and SMEs as part of the EIB/EIF JEREMIE initiative. The UK government is currently conducting an analysis of access to finance provision and a decision will be taken in 2007 about whether JEREMIE will apply in the UK. 3 These interventions may support the development and delivery of the DTI technology support programmes through the new Technology Strategy Board (TSB). RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

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incubators which allow businesses, sector support, and R&D excellence to collaborate (physically or virtually) – such as the national Bio-Manufacturing Centre funded under the Merseyside Objective 1 programme. Any incubation support should be linked to, and build on, the existing 20 incubators in the region. This will be a mix of capital and revenue investment. Sectorally focused business advice: specialist mentoring, advice and guidance consistent with the Business Link targeted service Supply-chain development: assisting groups of businesses to understand future market trends, exploit emerging opportunities and implement sector standards. Financial support (venture capital): in line with the start-up support in AA1-1 for start-ups. Networking: supporting collaboration between businesses with mutual interests or complementary expertise. Human capital investments relevant for the identified targeted sectors, especially related to leadership and specialist technical skills focused directly on increases in productivity in SMEs within the targeted sectors through flexible ‘bite sized’ opportunities in areas such as impact of globalisation, strategic planning, business management, organisational change, CSR and impact of climate change. This investment will be integral to an ERDF project within the action area and not freestanding ESF type provision (see 1.15). Promotion of trade opportunities, direct assistance to help more companies export and inward investment, after-care & trade missions

training level IV NVQ and specialist bespoke business sector training and facilitation non-mainstream services and learning opportunities i.e. those not provided by LSC and other mainstream providers. . Co-operation between primary producers in agricultural & forestry, e.g. clusters of activity – energy producers or processors etc Diversification into nonagricultural activities: Support farm, beneficiary must be member of the farm household diversification - direct support to budding rural enterprises in the form of start up grants Support for micro businesses, employ less than 10, small scale investments in lagging districts or other areas showing indications of rural disadvantage

the fishing industry Development of efficient supply chains in the fishing industry, with strong links between fishermen, growers, processors and customers

including food, energy and environmental technologies; supply chain activities through established regional channels for sector development support. ERDF will not support primary producers or the fishing industry which is supported through EFF. The EFF may provide premiums for young fishermen for the purchase of their first vessel. ERDF will support integrated business support activities aimed at knowledge intensive and high growth non-retail SMEs in all parts of the region. SMEs in the agricultural, primary food processing and forestry industries, and rural SMEs in industries not identified as target sectors in the Operational Programme (i.e. biomedical, energy/environmental technologies; advanced engineering and materials; food & drinks; digital & creative; and business & professional services) will be supported by EAFRD, which can also support bespoke and technical where this is not available through mainstream programmes (i.e. ESF, national funding). Fishing industry SMEs will be supported through EFF. ERDF will not support microenterprises unless these have the potential for high growth and are in priority sectors. Other rural SMEs (i.e. micro-enterprises, those not in sectors targeted by ERDF) will be supported through EAFRD ERDF will support infrastructure developments aimed at new and high technology clusters, excluding those in the agriculture/forestry/fishing sectors, which will be supported through EAFRD and EFF (fish processing).

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AA1.3 Business resource and waste efficiency (BREW) support to SMEs including support for environmental audits, to improve business efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. Support for the development of low-carbon impact technologies relevant to North West businesses and commercial markets. Promotion and use of alternative energy sources, use of renewables and best practice in SMEs. Initiatives in support of sustainable procurement where this supports the programme’s aspirational target of a low carbon economy Awareness raising: to future proof SMEs in relation to environmental legislation (EU directives and to domestic UK legislation) and support for business planning to develop business response; of the risks and opportunities presented by climate change (including the potential implications for different market and sectors) and support for business planning to develop business response

Provision of training and knowledge transfer activity aimed at the farming and forestry sector

Promotion of environmental best practice in the fisheries sector

Support for woodland owners & managers to improve capacity of woodland to provide environmental & social benefits and yield renewable products. Adding value to agricultural and woodland products to enable economic return. Development of new products, processes and technologies, e.g. renewable energy, biomass.

ERDF may fund small scale actions demonstrated in renewable energy and biomass field if these cannot be funded by the EAFRD. EFF only will support the promotion of best environmental practice in the fisheries sector. ERDF will support CO2 reduction programmes and activities except agri-food and agri-forestry products for renewable energy, which will be supported through EAFRD. ERDF will also support environmental technology installation in SMEs, except for farms, which will be supported through EAFRD. Commercialisation of technologies related to renewable energies will be demarcated - small-scale commercialisation of renewable technologies for the benefit of rural SMEs will be funded through ERDF. This will not include any training activity. EAFRD will however be available to support training related to the exploitation of those technologies relating to land-use industries.

OP2: Exploiting Innovation and Knowledge

AA2.2: A gateway service offering information access and brokerage arrangements to help SMEs access and be aware of R&D opportunities Support to SMEs to define their R&D needs to help stimulate demand for R&D, including working to stimulate greater commitment to investment in new product & process development, and provision of facilities to support such R&D transfer to SMEs Development of appropriate ‘access to finance’ and grant mechanisms to support R&D, new product and process development and enhanced business performance processes Collaborative R&D programmes between R&D institutions and businesses developing new products and processes to improve business performance, including facilities where necessary Development of knowledge transfer mechanisms from business to business in order to harness non-HEI research expertise Delivery of improved links and placement schemes of graduates within SMEs to encourage knowledge transfer and innovation.

RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

N/A

N/A

ERDF will support the exploitation and commercialisation of knowledge technologies with no geographical limitations excluding knowledge transfer activity and commercialisation related to land-use technologies (farming and forestry sectors), and food supply. ERDF will support infrastructure for facilities to support innovation wherever most appropriate, including rural and coastal areas. Support for this activity will not be available through either EAFRD or EFF. ERDF will support integrated business support activities aimed at knowledge intensive and high growth non-retail SMEs in all parts of the

35


region, except SMEs engaged in agricultural, primary food processing, fishing and forestry industries. AA2.2: Intensive diagnostic support to assist SMEs understand and articulate their innovation potential and requirements, including entrepreneurial and leadership capabilities to support this Brokerage assistance to help businesses seeking innovation and ICT support to select appropriate providers Development of appropriate ‘access to finance’ and grant mechanisms for businesses to access financial support, advice and intelligence from qualified, accredited specialist providers to implement innovation, new processes and products in their operations Provision of innovation & ICT facilities and activities aimed at SMEs, including development of leadership and management capacity, to stimulate demand for innovation, technology and the efficient use of ICT in companies Promotion of trade opportunities, direct assistance to help more companies export and inward investment, after-care & trade missions:

Diversification into nonagricultural activities: Support farm, beneficiary must be member of the farm household diversification - direct support to budding rural enterprises in the form of start up grants Support for micro businesses, employ less than 10, small scale investments in lagging districts or other areas showing indications of rural disadvantage

Promotion of investment in innovation and technology for the fishing industry

Innovation and R&D, including research relating to land-based industries except investment in innovation and technology for the fishing industry which will be supported through EFF. EAFRD will not support research. ERDF will support infrastructure for facilities to support innovation wherever most appropriate, including rural and coastal areas. Support for this activity will not be available through either EAFRD or EFF. ERDF will support integrated business support activities aimed at knowledge intensive and high growth non-retail SMEs in all parts of the region, except SMEs engaged in agricultural, primary food processing, fishing and forestry industries. ERDF will not support microenterprises unless these have the potential for innovation, high growth and are in priority sectors. Other rural SMEs (i.e. micro-enterprises, those not in sectors targeted by ERDF) will be supported through EAFRD. EFF will support fish processing SME start-ups. ERDF will support integrated innovation business support activities aimed at knowledge intensive and high growth non-retail SMEs in all parts of the region, except SMEs engaged in agricultural, primary food processing, fishing and forestry industries.

OP3: Creating the Conditions for Sustainable Growth

AA3.1 New or improved surface access to air, sea ports and the city centre in Merseyside with an emphasis on sustainable public transport, walking and cycling, rail freight and, exceptionally, highways investment (Merseyside only)

RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

N/A

N/A

ERDF will support sustainable urban transport developments as set out in the OP.

36


The development of public transport facilities in order to provide improved services to international visitors and workers accessing these employment locations; this includes rail links to the subregion’s major gateways, multimodal transport schemes and ‘intelligent transport’ systems (using ICT to control and manage infrastructure and to provide high quality, up to date information to travellers - allowing best use to be made of networks both for private and public transport, facilitating links between transport modes, and mitigating against adverse environmental impacts, of travel, reducing congestion and improving air quality) (Merseyside only)

OP4: Growing and Accessing Employment

AA3.2: Interventions that support the delivery of the Regional Strategic Sites, including the clearance of derelict land and treatment of contaminated land, provision of site servicing and related site infrastructure; Site-specific access into Regional Strategic Sites and site-specific public transport facilities where this is part of a sustainable transport strategy for the site; Activities that support the development of the high quality business environments, including premises, landscaping, public realm and gateway features, energy and resource use and management, including green infrastructure, and site specific IT/broadband infrastructure. Support for marketing and promotion of specific sites whose role is supporting innovation and cluster development.

N/A

AA3.3: Protection and enhancements of natural and cultural heritage assets, in line with regional strategic priorities as set out in the region’s Tourism Strategy; Limited capital investment in new visitor or tourism facilities and attractions in the Merseyside phasing-in region, in line with subregional strategic priorities; Specific support for Liverpool 2008 Capital of Culture, including spreading the benefits regionally – this will be linked to the legacy activity post 2008, including the themed years (2009 environment and 2010 innovation) Promotion and marketing of natural and cultural heritage assets to promote sustainable tourism Green transport plans (see below) for accessing natural and cultural heritage sites to promote sustainable tourism, including limited investment in sustainable transport

Encouragement of tourism -

AA4.1: Enterprise stimulation activity: this will help to build a stronger entrepreneurial culture. Expert support and counselling: to assist in the development of the business idea, business launch and ongoing support to secure

Support for micro businesses, employ less than 10, small scale investments in lagging districts or other areas showing indications of rural disadvantage

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N/A

ERDF will support a prioritised list of regional strategies sites, some of which may be in rural areas. EAFRD and EFF will not support these. ERDF will support energy cogeneration and CO2 reduction measures related to regional strategic sites. ERDF will not support general environmental protection measures, which will be supported through EAFRD and EFF as appropriate.

small scale support. Promote heritage, wildlife, etc – greenactivities. Small scale local initiatives relating to rural tourism,

Protecting the marine, lake and coastal environment to maintain its attractiveness, and protecting and capitalising on the natural and architectural heritage

ERDF will invest in larger scale projects (signature projects) in line with the Region’s Tourism Strategy. Smaller scale projects in rural areas (i.e. not signature projects) will be funded through EAFRD. EFF will support the protection of marine, lake and coastal environment.

Tackling social exclusion and promoting long term prosperity in communities traditionally dependant on the fishing industry, where this cannot be

ERDF will support integrated business support activities aimed generating more enterprises in areas (which are mainly urban in nature) of high worklessness and low

heritage and basic services Small scale local initiatives relating to rural heritage and basic services in remoter areas.

37


sustainable growth of small and micro businesses. Outreach work: with disadvantaged individuals and groups, linking into mainstream providers via Business Link. Signposting: to expert forms of business advice and guidance, for example around specialist business finance, sector-specific support, ICT support land and property advice. Specialist business advice: tailored to the specific needs of target disadvantaged individuals and groups. Financial support: special start-up financial support, where alternative sources of finance do not already exist, including microcredit and VCLF instruments. Social enterprise: working with pre-start, emergent and existing social enterprises to create a new social enterprise, where demand exists, building management capacities and supporting diversification into commercial income streams/trading to support, develop and enhance the sustainability and viability of social enterprises. In the context of this Action Area the start-up period is regarded as up to 36 months from the start of trading.

Basic services: small scale grants with emphasis on economic output, e.g. social enterprise, ICT etc

AA4.2: Job brokerage: using a wide range of intermediaries to meet local needs. Local employment agreements and employment and recruitment practices: that maximise employment benefits from planned developments (during construction and at completed development) and existing major firms, and which challenge employers’ attitudes and promote good practice in the recruitment of excluded groups. Outreach provision to help excluded groups access employment opportunities and business support generated throughout the Programme Low-carbon local transport schemes, tailored to individuals and linking people in disadvantaged areas to jobs using existing infrastructure and encouraging walking and cycling. This would include promotional activities to encourage higher use of public transport, personalised travel plans, support for public transport provision which is better aligned to where people live and when they need it, bus corridors and involving local people in decision making.

Animateurs skills acquisition: Capacity building for very local rural partnerships

AA4.3 Support for development of employment sites providing employment for residents of target areas, including environmental improvements, energy and resource use management and site specific IT/Broadband infrastructure which help to create an appropriate business environment and support the development of knowledge based industries at the local level

Access to farm & forest land for management purposes. Water management, e.g. irrigation, drainage

Brownfield land reclamation

provided elsewhere

enterprise, except SMEs engaged in agricultural, primary food processing, fishing and forestry industries. EAFRD will be concentrated in lagging districts or other areas showing indications of rural disadvantage. EFF will support coastal areas and fishing communities.

Tackling social exclusion and promoting long term prosperity in communities traditionally dependant on the fishing industry, where this cannot be provided elsewhere

N/A

ERDF will not support capacity building for local rural partnerships which will be supported via EAFRD. Coastal and fishing communities will be supported by ERDF only if support cannot be provided via the EFF.

ERDF will not support general environmental protection measures, which will be supported through EAFRD and EFF as appropriate. ERDF will support energy cogeneration and CO2 reduction measures related to development of employment sites.

Integrated projects for urban and rural regeneration with a specific

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focus on support for entrepreneurship, local employment generation and community economic development, including facilities which support social enterprise, managed workspace and common services for businesses in target areas

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Annex VI

Key narrative to priorities at Annex 7 below Regional Rural Delivery Framework (RRDF) Priority 1: 1.1.1

2.1.1

Maximising the economic potential of the region’s rural areas Enable relationships between rural businesses and their markets by stimulating the physical and virtual connectivity and networks between rural areas, Key Service Centres and City Regions Promote sustainable business growth in rural areas by focusing intervention on opportunities for higher value production, higher-value employment; in-migrating businesses and entrepreneurship; and by focusing business support on closing the productivity gap with nonrural businesses Support the development of in-depth, localised solutions for the economic issues of isolated areas and sectors that show consistent low performance and diversity Promoting a prosperous sustainable farming and food sector that contributes to the environment and social well being of the region Support the provision of business and environmental advice to the farming and food sectors

2.1.2 2.1.3

Support for on farm diversification and innovation Support local and regional food activity for both conventional and organic sectors

2.2.1

Support opportunities to grow and utilise non food crops and non food uses for conventional crops Work with training network providers to increase the availability and diversity of Vocational Training, specific to the farming and food sectors

1.1.2

1.2.2 Priority 2:

2.4.1 Priority 4: 4.3.1 Priority 5: 5.2

Priority 6: 6.1.1 6.1.2

6.1.4 6.2.1

Ensuring fair access to services for rural communities Develop greater integration between the activities of what are often separate service providers and encourage greater participation in, and support of, community resource centres Empowering rural communities and addressing rural social exclusion A high level of participation in local democracy, governance and volunteering enabling communities to influence the policies and strategies of authorities, agencies and service providers Enhancing the quality of, and promotion of, our rural environmental inheritance Develop a strategic catchment sensitive approach to managing flood risk that maximises opportunities to work with natural processes and deliver habitat creation benefits Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by promoting greater use of energy conservation methods, renewable energy sources, carbon neutral energy production methods and carbon sinks Contribute to improved water quality, water resources and benefiting biodiversity by tackling diffuse pollution, soil loss and improving soil structure Conserve, enhance and where appropriate expand biodiversity and geological interest by: • Conserving designated nature conservation sites including Natura 2000 sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and achieving their favourable condition status • Reversing the decline in NW farmland bird populations and maintaining the increase in woodland bird populations through appropriate agricultural and woodland management practices • Delivering the North West’s regional and local biodiversity targets for maintaining, restoring and expanding habitats and species populations, including regionally important non-statutory sites, habitats and species • Adoption and implementation of the England and North West visions for developing networks of water and wetland habitats • Improving the connectivity between fragmented, rare and isolated wildlife habitats particularly in the rural lowlands to permit the migration and dispersal of species and improve the long term viability of their populations

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6.2.2

6.2.3

6.2.4 6.3.2 6.3.4 6.4.1

6.4.2

To conserve, enhance and where appropriate, restore the regions landscapes and historic environment with due regard to countryside character, local distinctiveness and local county landscape strategies and where possible at a full landscape scale by: • Tackling land blight and dereliction caused by current and former industrial activity thus contributing to improved regional image and dealing with the industrial legacy • Ensure the effective conservation of designated and defined landscapes, and historic environment assets. Including World Heritage Sites, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coasts and other regionally important regional landscapes, historic parklands, traditional buildings and scheduled monuments • Ensuring that the countryside in and around the regions cities and towns is conserved, enhanced and restored in order to improve their functionality such that they are more readily accessible, contribute to the health and wealth of urban and rural communities, underpin more sustainable living and strengthen biodiversity in town and country Support, enable and sustain the high nature value farming and forestry systems which benefit the environment, strengthen and maintain traditional landscapes, and which will also help sustain rural communities and cultures Conservation, preservation and where appropriate the sensitive restoration of the historic environment and wider historic landscapes, and cultural and heritage features At the landscape scale seek to utilise the multifunctional (catalytic) qualities of woodlands to bring about socio-economic gain Develop and implement a strategic approach to the planning and delivery of a more and improved Green Infrastructure Improve access (without negative effect on the environment) to quality environmental sites to increase public interest and enjoyment in the environment, raise awareness &educate and increase use of the wider countryside for education, skills development and awareness raising activities Increase local access provision for urban and rural communities in terms of quantity, quality, accessibility and multiple functionality

Regional Economic Strategy

(RES)

Action Point 4 8 30 42 51 56 101 109 115 117 118 119

Detail Review business support needs, of and focus support on ….. Businesses in the rural economy Undertake cluster programmes in priority sectors to develop higher value activity, improve productivity and identify future growth opportunities from converging markets/technologies: Food & Drink Develop a skilled workforce in rural areas to enable business to diversify and expand Develop childcare initiatives and raise the importance of childcare with employers Diversify the economic base and support sectors with growth potential in the rural economy, focussing on the lagging rural areas of Allerdale, Copeland, Lancaster and West Lancashire Implement plans to ensure ongoing growth in the rural economy as part of the Regional Rural Delivery Framework Improve the product associated with the region’s tourism “attack brands” and “signature projects” as identified in the Regional Tourism Strategy, in line with market demand Undertake capacity building activity of the Voluntary and Community Sector and Social Enterprise to enable delivery of high quality public services, including through the development of local and regional compacts Deliver sustainable growth through use of the region’s heritage environments and assets – especially World heritage site, the cities of Chester, Lancaster and Carlisle and the Lake District Implement the Regional Forestry Framework Promote sustainable farming and food production and its role in the management of rural environmental assets Invest in quality public realm, green space and environmental quality focussed on …key Rural Service Centres

NWDA Rural Policy Objectives: 1 2 3 4

Ensuring Ongoing Growth in the Rural Economy Developing a Skilled Workforce in Rural Areas Diversifying the Economic Base of Rural Areas Strengthening Rural Communities

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Natural England Strategic Direction 2006 -2009 Strategic Objective 1.1 Strategic Objective 2.1 Strategic Objective 2.2 Strategic Objective 2.3 Strategic Objective 3.1 Strategic Objective 3.2 Strategic Objective 3.3 Strategic Objective 3.4 Strategic Objective 3.5 Strategic Objective 4.1

To conserve and enhance England’s natural environment – including the landscape biodiversity, geology and soils, natural resources, cultural heritage and other features of the built and natural environment Increase the number, diversity and frequency of people enjoying the natural environment Increase everyone’s understanding of and ability to take action for, the natural environment Improve places for people to enjoy the natural environment To improve the quality of environmental land and sea management through the development and adoption of sustainable practices, taking account the impact of climate change Environmentally sustainable farming, fishing and forestry with protection of natural resources, reductions in diffuse pollution and enhancement of the natural environment To influence markets and supply chains to develop and adopt more sustainable practices and cut greenhouse emissions Secure commitment to natural environment goals in EU, national, regional, local and sectoral policies and strategies To increase investment in environmental enhancement and thereby the contribution of the natural environment to national, regional and local economies Engage public and specialist audiences in debating what our future natural environment should be like

Regional Forestry Framework Priorities Action Area 1 AA1 Pa

AA1 Pb AA1 Pc AA1 Pd

Action Area 2 AA2 Pa AA2 Pb

AA2 Pc

AA2 Pd Action Area 3 AA3 Pa

AA3 Pb

Enterprise and industry The range of employment options and diversity of skills needed in modern forestry has widened substantially from the requirements of traditional forestry. These new career paths need specialist training provision to meet the specific needs of the sector in the Northwest Existing business advice services need to provide, and be seen to provide, support that meets the specific requirements of the woodland and forestry sector The timber sector in its broadest sense will benefit from increased co-operation, both within and beyond the region, to enhance its value to the Northwest A strategic programme is needed to build on the environmental credentials of the sector, particular efforts should be made to develop the true potential of wood energy and the opportunities offered by marketing of regional forest products with a view to influencing the development of local and regional timber product purchasing policies Regional Image A coherent and ambitious programme of gateway and transport corridor greening across the region will provide a major improvement to ‘first impressions’. Our region should be strategically and practically promoting our woodland-based and woodland-linked tourism destinations to extend and enhance the visitor experience in the Northwest. Building on the Northwest’s reputation as a LEADER in this area, more can be done to promote our work on woodlands as a viable tool in the regeneration and reclamation of derelict land. Influencing the planning system and providing advice and guidance to planners will encourage the integration of trees and woodlands into development schemes. Biodiversity and landscape A joint agenda for agriculture and woodlands will deliver continued improvements for trees and woodlands, and schemes will be supported that bring benefits to our region’s landscape, biodiversity and to forestry businesses. The linkage and expansion of existing areas of woodland, if carried out sensitively, will create more functional and biologically diverse habitats, addressing the effect of our fragmented woodlands.

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AA3 Pc

AA3 Pd

Action Area 4 AA4 Pa

AA4 Pb AA4 Pc

AA4 Pd Action Area 5 AA5 Pa

AA5 Pb AA3 Pc

AA5 Pd Action Area 6 AA6 Pa

AA6 Pb AA6 Pc AA6 Pd

AA6 Pe AA6 Pf

Consistent engagement with policy makers will ensure that the importance of trees and woodlands is fully appreciated and is visibly included in the key regional policies and strategies that will shape the future of the Northwest. Targeting key woodlands for entry into management schemes and providing protection for ancient woodlands and important trees will meet landscape and biodiversity objectives in the Northwest. Tree and woodland management should also contribute to the achievement of Habitat and Species Biodiversity Action Plan targets. Health, wellbeing and quality of life We must work with woodland owners to develop a multi-purpose woodland management approach that caters for the needs of different recreational users, and engage with tourism and leisure bodies to increase the promotion of accessible woodlands. Targeted woodland creation and management would deliver enhanced access to woodlands near areas of high population density and significant quality of life benefits. Policies linking woodlands and health to local authority planning must be encouraged, while hospitals and other healthcare establishments can lead the way by developing woodlands and greenspace within their grounds. The ongoing development of schemes such as GP referrals for exercise must be encouraged. The region should take every opportunity to develop woodlands and associated activities that utilise them as outdoor classrooms in which to build life skills. Climate Change and Energy A concerted programme to increase vegetation and tree planting in urban areas would use urban trees as a key solution in the development of a region-wide strategy to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Our use of floodplains and upland areas needs to be addressed, planting trees and woodlands in a mosaic with other semi-natural habitats to help alleviate possible flooding and erosion. The role of timber in construction projects, particularly in new housing developments, should be promoted as a low energy, low impact building material. The creation of new and management of existing woodlands must contribute to the creation of functional ecosystems and support species migration and adaptation. The consolidation and expansion of existing biodiversity ‘hotspots’ (such as ancient woodland) will increase the resilience of local habitats to the possible impacts of climate change. We should encourage and enable the production of roundwood for energy from a range of sources including managed woodlands and short rotation coppice grown on agricultural land. Supporting and resourcing the sector The spatial and thematic targeting of resources will best deliver public benefits, firstly in the management of existing woodlands and forestry businesses and secondly through the creation of strategically placed new woodlands. The development of an integrated (social, economic and environmental) landscape scale approach will assist resource allocation for woodlands and associated industry growth. Woodland development should be supported and delivered through broad, cross-sector partnerships to ensure that resources are accessible and delivery meets local needs. The roles of the public forest estates are as a champion for the new woodlands agenda, and as a catalyst for widespread local social, economic and environmental development. A climate for economic growth could be created by supporting and seeking to resource cooperation and communication across the sector in its broadest sense. An advocacy campaign that promotes wood products and demystifies woodlands to show them as assets, and forestry as asset management, will gain the support and investment needed to ensure that our woodlands can deliver the broadest range of public benefits.

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Annex VII Axis 1 - Improving Competitiveness of agricultural and forestry sector @ August 2006 Article

RDPE Measure

RRDF Priority/Activity (See narrative key above)

NWDA Rural Policy Objectives (see narrative keyabove )

21

Vocational training & information actions for persons engaged in ag, food or forestry sectors.

Priority 1 & Priority 2

Objective 2

24 25 26

Use of advisory services by formers & forestry holders Setting up farm management relief & advisory services Modernisation of agricultural holdings.

Priority 1, Priority 2, 2.1.1 Priority 1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2 Priority 2 , 2.4.1.

Objective 2

27 28 29

Improving the economic value of forests. Adding value to Agricultural/Forestry Products Co-operation for development of new products, processes and technologies in the ag., food & forestry sector Improving & developing infrastructure related to development & adaptation of ag and forestry

Priority 2, 2.2.1 Priority 2, 2.2.1 , 2.1.3 Priority 2 , 2.1.3

Objective 1

30

RES Action (see narrative key above) Action 30.

Regional Forestry Framework Priorities (see narrative key above

Natural England Strategic Direction 06-09 Linkages (see narrative key above

AA1.Pa

Strategic Objective 3.1

AA1 PB AA! PB

S.O. 1.1, 3.2

Objective 2 Action 117. Action 8.

Priority 6, 6.4.1)

Action 117.

AA 1 AA6 PF AA1Pd AA6 Pf AA1 Pc – AA5 Pd AA6 Pe AA4 Pa

SO 1.1, 3.1, 3.2 S.O. 3.3 'I SO 3.3

Action 118

AA3 Pa

SO 1.1'

AA3 Pb –AA4 Pb – AA5 Pc

As above S.O. 1.1 S.O. 3.1'' S.O. 3.2 'S.O. 3.3 S.O. 3.4.' S.O. 3.5 S.O. 4.1 As above SO 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

Axis II - Improving the Environment and the Countryside 36

Sustainable Agriculture - Natural Handicap payments in mountain areas

Priority 2-..'2.1.1 Priority 6 -6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3

37 39

Sustainable Agriculture - Payments to other areas with handicaps Sustainable Agriculture -Agri-environment payments

As above Priority 2 , 2.1.1, 2.1.3 Priority 6 6.1.4, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.2.4, 6.4.1, 6.4.2

41 43

Sustainable Agriculture -Support for non-productive investments Sustainable Forestry - First afforestation of agricultural land

44 45

Sustainable Forestry -First establishment of agroforestry on agricultural land Sustainable Forestry -First afforestation of non-agricultural land

As above Priority 2 , 2.1.3, 2.2.1. Priority 6 -6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.4, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.3.2, 6.3.4, 6.4.1, 6.4.2 Priority 2 -.1.2, 2.2.1 Priority 6 6.2.2, 6.3.2, 6.3.4, 6.4.2

47

Sustainable Forestry -Forest-environment payments

48

Sustainable Forestry -Restoring forestry potential & introducing preventive ctions Sustainable Forestry -Support for non-productive investments

49

Objective 3

Objective 13

Action 117 -

SO 1.1,3.1,3.2,3.3 SO 1.1,3.1,3.2,3.3

Priority 2 Priority 6 - 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.4, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.2.4, 6.3.2, 6.3.4, 6.4.1, 6.4.2 Priority 6

AA3 Pa AA2 Pc . AA3 Pb, AA4 Pb AA5 Pc AA5 PA AA3 Pd,– AA5Pc, AA2 Pb, AA4 Pa. AA5 Pa

Priority 2, Priority 6, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.4, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.2.4, 6.3.2, 6.3.4, 6.4.1, 6.4.2

AA2 Pb – AA4 Pa AA3 PDAA5PC AA2PB AA4PA

SO 1.1 .O. 2.1

Action 30. Action 51 Action 51. Action 56. Action 101. A Action 42. Action 119. Action 115 Action 119.

AA1 AA6 AA2 Pb AA4 Pa

AA2 Pb – AA4 Pa AA5 Pd -

SO 3.3 & 3.5 SO 3.3 & 3.5 SO 3.3 & 3.5 SO 3.3 & 3.5 SO - 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 , 2.3 , 3.5 SO 2.3

AA4 Pd. AA3 Pd AA6 Pc

SO 1.1, 12.3,3.1, 3.2, 3.5 SO 2.2 I

Action 109.

AA1 Pa

SO 2.2

SO 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, SO 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 S.O. 3.1

Axis III - Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy 53

Diversification into Non-agricultural activities

Priority 2 , (2.1.2)

54

Micro business creation and development

Priority 1 , 1.1.2

55 56

Encouragement of Tourism Activities Basis services for the rural population

Priority 6, 6.4.1 Priority 4, 4.3.1.

Objective 2 Objective 1 Objective 3 Objective 1 Objective 3 Objective 4

57 58

Village renewal & development, conservation & upgrading of rural heritage Training and information measure for economic actors operating inth the fields covered by axis 3 Skills Area studies information, training, animators, LEADERs, promotional events, partnerships

Priority 6 (6.2.4) Priority (5.2)

Objective 1 Objective 4

Priority 5 (5.2)

Objective 4

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RDPE: A Regional Implementation Plan for England's Northwest

AA1 Pd, AA6 Pf

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http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Draft%20RDPE%20NW%20Implem%20Plan