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Annual Performance Monitoring Report 2006-07

Northwest Development Agency Renaissance House Centre Park Warrington Cheshire WA1 1XB

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Contents Overview .......................................................................................................................... 3 NWDA Output Performance ........................................................................................ 3 The Northwest Economy .................................................................................................. 7 Regional Overview 2006-07......................................................................................... 7 Enterprise.......................................................................................................................... 8 Regional Sectors ......................................................................................................... 10 Innovation, Science and Research .............................................................................. 12 International Competitiveness .................................................................................... 14 ICT.................................................................................................................................. 16 Sustainable Growth ........................................................................................................ 17 Skills and Education ....................................................................................................... 19 People & Jobs ................................................................................................................. 22 Transforming the region ......................................................................................... 22 Infrastructure .................................................................................................................. 25 Determining priorities ............................................................................................ 25 Investing in new landscapes ................................................................................... 25 Creating high quality business locations ................................................................ 26 Quality Of Life ............................................................................................................... 28 Culture and Image .................................................................................................. 28 Strategic tourism leadership ................................................................................... 28 Marketing the region .............................................................................................. 29 Improving the Visitor Experience .......................................................................... 29 Investing In Communities and the Environment.................................................... 30 Providing Economic Leadership and Partnership Working ................................... 31 Strengthening rural communities ........................................................................... 32 Improving the health of the current and potential workforce................................. 32 2006/07 Performance...................................................................................................... 33 Tasking Framework and Corporate Performance................................................... 33 Improvement Plan .................................................................................................. 33 Scrutiny - Skills and Education and People and Jobs............................................. 33 Improving delivery and impact while learning from past activity - Evaluation..... 33 Finance, Efficiency & Organisational Issues ................................................................. 34 Highlights of NWDA Business Plan 2007/08 ................................................................ 35 Strategic Priorities .................................................................................................. 35 Business .................................................................................................................. 35 Skills and Education ............................................................................................... 36 People and Jobs ...................................................................................................... 36 Infrastructure .......................................................................................................... 36 Quality of Life ........................................................................................................ 36 ANNEX 1 ....................................................................................................................... 38 ANNEX 2 ....................................................................................................................... 39

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Overview This report provides an assessment of the Agency’s activity and performance during the 2006/07 financial year against the strategic priorities in our business plan. These are driven by the Corporate Plan and the vision and priorities for the Northwest set out in the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). As well as narrative on progress and achievements within the year, the report identifies delivered outputs, performance (including financial) and provides a commentary on trends in the region’s economic measures. 2006/7 was a good year for the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). We performed strongly and met all our key outputs for the financial year, (as illustrated in the table below), as well as driving significant progress on many of the transformational actions identified in the five themes of the Regional Economic Strategy – Business, Skills & Education, People & Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Working through the RES Advisory Group we have just produced an assessment of progress with the RES which shows good progress. The Northwest now has a RES which can be “performance managed” and against which progress can easily be measured. The Northwest has a bold ambition – to build on our strengths, seize new opportunities and sustainably grow our £106 billion economy. The Agency is central to achieving this and the last seven years have taught us much about how to achieve this growth. One of the most crucial lessons is that investing in significant transformational projects has the most impact on our economy and this is where the NWDA is focusing its attention.

NWDA Output Performance ACHIEVED

MIN TARGET

1. Jobs Created and Safeguarded

20,205

12,750

2. Number of people assisted to get a job

3,978

1,500

3. Businesses Created

3,306

1,720

4. Businesses Assisted

23,997

16,800

4a) New Collaborations with the Knowledge Base

1,341

750

5. Investment Levered (£m)

373

320

5. % of Private Investment Levered

69%

38%

5f. Brownfield Remediated (Ha)

299

245

6. Skills Development

26,045

10,000

6a) Number of adults achieving at least NVQ 2

1,028

340

6b) Number of adults gaining basic skills

1,914

825

OUTPUT INDICATOR

Table 1 – Performance against core and mandatory output targets

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During the year NWDA played a crucial role and made significant progress with the mediacity:uk project at Salford Quays, including the BBC’s decision to move 1,500 jobs to the site, kick-starting the first purpose built media city development in the UK. The Digital and Creative Industry is a key growth sector for the Northwest. This project is vital to its potential and will cement Greater Manchester’s reputation as a hub for world-class creative industries. The development will define the Northwest as a global centre for media and creative industries, employing 15,500 people and adding £200 million annually to the regional economy. Another important development was the launch by NWDA of Business Link Northwest in late March 2007. This will transform the service into a high quality, targeted, regional asset. The new service is providing the region’s businesses with a primary access point for business support and a more efficient, consistent and targeted service in line with the Government’s business support simplification aims. Enabling companies to access the support that they need is essential and we are confident that the new service will deliver high quality, appropriate advice and guidance. The launch of an Internationalisation Strategy and updated Science Strategy, driven by NWDA, are also significant for the region. They show the leadership being taken by NWDA in the region in both these important areas and how the Northwest aims to exploit its significant strengths in these areas. 2006/7 saw the completion of Daresbury Innovation Centre and the Cockcroft Institute following £50 million worth of investment from the NWDA. The project will create 92 jobs, support over 60 businesses using the Agency funded incubators and in the longer term will make a positive contribution to regional GVA growth. NWDA investment is delivering key projects for the region in supporting the growth of the key Biomedical sector in the region. The National Bio-manufacturing Centre in Liverpool opened, a £30 million project developed by the NWDA for product development and early stage biopharmaceutical manufacturing. This project will contribute over £128 million to regional GVA over the next ten years. Manchester saw the opening of the £25 million Core Technology Facility with an Agency investment of £11 million, providing grow-on space and specialist service provision for biotechnology companies moving on from the successful Manchester Biotechnology Incubator. The Oxford Road Development Corridor has also gained further added value from significant NHS and University investment. In 2006/7, NWDA has supported significant progress with two major developments to improve higher education provision and access across the region - the new University of Cumbria, which opens its doors to its first students in September 2007, and a new Further and Higher Education campus for Burnley. For a number of years, partners have been working hard to build a stronger Higher Education framework for Cumbria and East Lancashire; and both developments will not only help to improve provision but also to retain our talented young people in the region further enhancing the productivity of the region. The RES recognised that the cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Preston are drivers of city-regional growth and are hugely important to the regional economy. 2006/7 saw considerable regeneration investment in these important cities by NWDA and, often working via the region’s five Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs), the achievement 4


of significant outputs and transformation of these economies – for example the developments on the Liverpool Waterfront and illustrated renewed confidence in the city. The significant investment by the private sector in these cities also represents a major turning point and the ultimate impact and regeneration achieved by NWDA and partner investment over a long period of time. For example the £900 million Liverpool One development by Grosvenor will create the largest mixed leisure and retail development in Europe, reinvigorating Liverpool into one of the premier retail locations in the UK. NWDA is also investing significantly to tackle areas with acute needs. Following the Government’s Independent Panel regional casino recommendation, the Agency has been working with partners to review Blackpool’s economic, social and environmental plans and develop innovative solutions for sustainable growth. The Agency has continued to invest via Re-Blackpool URC to develop solutions to support the town’s regeneration and economic growth. ReBlackpool will be at the forefront in delivering these plans with continued strong backing from the Agency and its partners. NWDA has also shown significant leadership in developing the West Cumbria Master plan setting out a coherent vision of how the areas skills and asset can be maximised and a world class cluster developed, with ongoing investment in this area via West Lakes Renaissance URC. NWDA has made strong progress in the year in delivering high quality sites/ premises and sustainable uses for brownfield land in the region, which along with an effective transport and communications network are essential to economic growth. The Kingsway site in Greater Manchester and Chorley site in Lancashire have both seen significant developments during the year, while the £23 million Newlands programme is helping to transform brownfield land across the region. NWDA has continued to invest heavily in developing the region’s culture and image, communities and environment – priorities in the RES under the Quality of Life theme. We supported the fourth Liverpool Biennial last autumn and the Manchester International Festival and Liverpool as European Capital of Culture. As Liverpool begins the countdown to its 2008 celebrations with its 800th birthday in 2007, we must work together to seize the opportunity to showcase both Liverpool and the Northwest to the UK and overseas. During 2006/07 we have put the building blocks in place for this to happen. The Agency will be working closely with the Culture Company to make the most of the economic benefits Capital of Culture provides for the whole region. In November 2006 the region launched its Climate Change Action Plan, which is being driven by NWDA, designed to reduce our carbon emissions and maximise the positive impact of environmental change by ensuring that we understand both the risks and the opportunities for regional businesses, organisations and people. The plan aims to exceed the Governments carbon emission target (currently set at a reduction in emissions of 60% by 2050). Over the coming year the Agency will be leading a regional partnership to ensure that the Action Plan delivers real progress towards a low carbon economy for the region. During the year we have worked even closer with the regions’ five sub regions. Each sub-region has produced an economic plan setting out economic priorities and showing 5


how each sub region will deliver the RES. NWDA’s own investment plans have taken these into account. As a result of the leadership shown by NWDA during the year, the RES now has considerable “traction” within the region and is widely recognised as the blueprint for the Northwest’s sustainable future. It has considerable influence on the plans and investment decisions of our partners. Working with our partner RDAs, Yorkshire Forward and One Northeast, we have also continued our engagement with the Northern Way to ensure that the North’s economy is increasingly competitive and that we focus on key productivity issues. In 2006/07, a review of Northern Way recommended focussing on three priority areas of transport, innovation in industry and levering in more private sector investment. This will ensure we focus our efforts on key transformational actions and projects that will have the most impact across the North and therefore contribute to the reduction in the GVA gap with other English Regions.

Bryan Gray, Chairman Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive

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

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Enterprise Key achievements, outputs and impacts Business assists– 9,343; Businesses created 3,223; Jobs created and safeguarded – 8,756; Skill assists – 1,867; Investment Levered - £175 million Improve the formation, survival and growth rates of enterprises The implementation of transformational actions within the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) has been the main focus of the Agency’s business activity throughout the year. •

A key milestone for the Agency was the successful launch of Business Link Northwest. This was achieved in a transitional period for Business Link with minimum interruption to businesses. The new service is providing a highquality, consistent and targeted service for businesses. Importantly, it will address their needs and skills gaps whilst also impacting positively on the regional economy by encouraging business growth in key sectors. This project will support the creation of 10,380 new businesses, lead to over 31,000 business assists and create and safeguard over 2,630 jobs. The overall impact of this change in terms of the wider regional economic impact and output growth of these companies will be carefully evaluated in this coming year.

During 2006/07 over 3,000 new enterprises were created through Business Link activity, with assistance provided to over 5,000 existing businesses. Work has continued on the programme to streamline business support as part of the National Business Support Simplification programme. The Agency has worked closely with partners in gaining commitment to the principles of the programme ahead of implementation in 2007/08 and further reduction in business support products.

Improving the enterprise culture, particularly amongst the region’s young people, plays an important role in nurturing future talent for the Northwest. During the year, the Agency supported a number of initiatives to raise the profile of enterprise including ‘The Next Big Thing’, an event held as part of National Enterprise Week, aimed at inspiring young people to turn their business ideas into reality. £1 million, invested through Business Link and partner agencies, is providing specialist business support to women, black and minority ethnic people together with disabled entrepreneurs. A further £6 million programme of investment over the next three years in start up services for social enterprise activity will help to improve the level of entrepreneurship within the Northwest’s minority groups and women creating over 65 social enterprises in the process.

The Agency provided investment to take forward the development and implementation of action plans for Social Enterprise Partnerships in each subregion, targeted at developing new market opportunities. The Agency continued to support investment in Knowsley Borough’s programmes to further stimulate enterprise activity following its success in developing a grassroots enterprise culture and reducing unemployment in the borough from 22% to 4% over the 8


past 20 years. This culminated in the Borough being named the Northwest winner of the Enterprising Britain 2006 competition. Improve the availability of business finance The Agency continued its active policy of backing seed and venture capital funds, investing both in new companies and providing follow on funding to speed up development and secure additional funds from other sources. •

The three funds backed by the Agency collectively invested ÂŁ6.6 million in 2006/07, in the process levering in an additional ÂŁ51.9 million private investment. As a result of the initial investment, 273 jobs were created and 459 safeguarded. The demand for this finance is growing as the number of and funding requirements for high growth companies and the size of the equity gap increases. The success of seed and venture funds in influencing the private sector to invest alongside and work in partnership with the smaller businesses clearly demonstrates the significant role these funds play in facilitating the bridging of this funding gap. The Agency plans to evaluate and review this programme in 2007/08.

Regional Economic Context: The region has reduced the gap in the number of business stock with the England average from 38,000 to 37,000 although the firm formations (both number and rate) have reduced. The reduction in firm formation is against the national trend so the Northwest firm formation rate is now 83.5% of the England rate (compared to 85.5% last year). Net new VAT Businesses are up from 2,430 to 3,230. Although there has been a slight decrease in 12 month survival rates of 0.3%, 24 month and 36 month survival rates have improved by 1.5% and 4.1% respectively.

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Regional Sectors Key achievements, outputs and impacts Jobs created - 2,474; Business assists – 5679; Skill assists – 8196; Investment levered £36.5 million; Launch of the Liverpool Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases; official opening of National Bio-manufacturing Centre at Speke. Develop key internationally competitive sectors Support for key sectors with high growth potential as identified within the Regional Economic Strategy, including creative industries, biomedical, food and drink, and advanced engineering and materials, continues to be a goal for the Agency. •

NWDA has supported significant progress towards mediacity:uk at Salford Quays this year (a RES Transformational Action), which will strengthen Greater Manchester’s reputation as a hub for world-class creative industries. The development is set to employ 15,500 people and add £200 million every year to the regional economy. Central to the project is the BBC’s intention to move 1,500 jobs from London to Salford, creating the largest BBC presence outside of London. It will also be a centre for other creative industries. This project has been a result of effective partnership working between various stakeholders including Salford City Council, Peel Holdings, Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, the BBC, Department for Culture Media and Sports and the NWDA. The project also benefited from investment by the Northern Way partners.

The Agency’s intervention is placing the region at the cutting edge of biopharmaceutical progress. Following a £23 million investment by the NWDA and the Objective One programme, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s new Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases received its ‘topping out’ ceremony from Lord Sainsbury. The facility has levered in a further £25 Million from the “Gates’ Foundation” and is attracting scientists from around the world, maintaining the School’s position as a leading research institute within the biomedical field. This project consolidates Merseyside’s unique selling point as a centre for research in tropical and infectious diseases and is demonstrated by the award of Biomedical Centre in Infectious Disease by the Department of Health. As a result, 27 highly skilled jobs were created, 8 jobs safeguarded and 121 individuals gained foundation degrees or above.

Another project adding to the region’s growing importance in worldwide biotechnology is the National Bio-manufacturing Centre at Speke, which was opened this year creating 14 new highly skilled jobs. The £34 million centre, which was made possible with funding from the NWDA, the Objective One programme and the DTI, provides expertise to support new and existing biotechnology companies and is poised to lead the next wave of biopharmaceutical development. This project will contribute over £128 million to regional GVA over the next ten years.

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The Agency is reinforcing the reputation of the region as a major player in the aerospace sector with investment support for a major research and development programme at BAE Systems. The initiative forms part of the ASTRAEA initiative, which aims to put the UK at the heart of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. The Agency approved an £8 million investment to improve access to BAe’s Samlesbury site in Lancashire. This will facilitate the construction of a new design centre for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter programme with the US, the world’s largest defence contract with a potential order book of £12 billion. This investment will further open up the rest of the site for development as an Aerospace and Advanced Engineering Business Park.

The Agency is leading CLUNET, a European wide project designed to facilitate the transfer and sharing of best practice on cluster development amongst the fifteen partner regions and develop collaborative projects. CLUNET is a three year project with £13.5 million (€ 2 million) funding and is one of four cluster development projects in the EU INNO-NET programme.

Regional Economic Context: The proportion of those employed in the knowledge occupations has improved within the region from 36.9% to 38.5%. The proportion of the GVA gap attributable to Business Services has dropped from 40% to 27%

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Innovation, Science and Research Key achievements, outputs and impacts Business assists - 1126; Skill assists – 41; Higher Education Institutions & Business Collaborations – 778; Opening of the flagship Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus; launch of the Cockcroft Institute; Northern Way launch of North’s Eight (N8) research-intensive Universities programme in conjunction with the ONE NE and Yorkshire Forward. Develop higher added value activity through innovation and support knowledge transfer The Northwest is increasingly recognised as a centre of excellence for scientific and medical research. Building on this success, an important milestone was the launch of the new Northwest Science Strategy, which aims to ensure that the region can meet the science and technology needs of regional businesses while attracting new businesses from abroad and, at same time, encouraging transitional businesses to relocate to the Northwest?. The Agency has continued to work through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) to promote and incentivise improved collaboration between the regions businesses and Higher Education Institutions. •

The year saw the official opening of the flagship Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, which received £50 million investment from the Agency, and the launch of the Cockcroft Institute, the national centre for accelerator science. The development of this strategic national site reinforces Daresbury’s future as one of the UK’s two premier science and dipolar structure for large scale scientific infrastructure investments promulgated by Lord Sainsbury and formally adopted by Government. During the year this facility supported 24 business incubations. This flagship project is forecast to create 92 highly skilled jobs, support over 60 businesses using the Agency funded incubators and in the longer term will make a substantial positive contribution to regional GVA growth especially in the knowledge related sector within the Northwest.

Driving forward innovation is a major focus for the Northern Way through identifying transformation actions which will have a net positive impact on the GVA in the North’s economy. The year saw the launch of a major new partnership between the Northern 8 Universities (N8) project. Harnessing expertise from the N8 research-intensive universities, the N8 initiative will develop pioneering research. They will focus on energy, sustainable water use, ageing and health related issues, regenerative medicine and molecular engineering, supporting the North’s aspiration to fulfil its potential to become a world leader in research and innovation in this field.

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Regional Economic Context: 58% of companies within the region are innovation active and Patent applications from the region are up from 274 to 312. 5139 businesses in the NW have Investors in People (IiP). In terms of Higher Education Institutions engagement in innovation, HEI’s have £114.5m income to support business growth, 557 HEI staff dedicated to business and community engagement and 8% share of research contracts. R&D spend stands at 2% private and public, 1.6% business, 0.1% Government and 0.4% (HEI) as a % of GVA. The Northwest has 12.7% of UK business R&D and 3% of government non-HEI R&D. This nationally ranks the region 3rd after the South East and Eastern regions respectively.

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International Competitiveness Key achievements, outputs and impacts Jobs created – 1,366; Business Start-ups – 28; Business assists – 638; 130 Inward investment projects. Maximise opportunities from globalisation and emerging markets; realise opportunities from international trade and inward investment 2006/07 saw the launch of the Internalisation Strategy and Action Plan developed in conjunction with the International Business Forum. The strategy capitalises on the increasing confidence in the Northwest as an international business location. It is an ambitious and integrated approach to international trade and is set to further boost the Northwest's global profile. •

The Agency, working in partnership with UK Trade and Investment continued to see a rise in the number of companies exporting for the first time, as well as established exporters identify new and emerging markets. The projects in this area collectively supported 778 companies to export for the first time. The projects are collectively projecting to support more than 2,800 businesses, making a substantial contribution to the regional GVA growth. We also continued to support the sub regional partners including inward investment organisations in Cumbria, Manchester and we have also been instrumental in developing an inward investment organisation in Merseyside which will be operational in late 2007.

Foreign-owned companies gave the Northwest economy a major boost in 2006/07 by investing in over 138 inward investment projects, creating or safeguarding over 7,500 jobs and levering in private sector investment of £4.2 billion. This is nearly a 30% rise on the number of projects and 10% in total number of jobs secured in 2005/06. Of particular note was the Handleman investment into Bolton from USA that will create up to 1,000 jobs when fully operational and lead to an investment of over £20 million.

Working through the Selective Finance for Investment scheme (SFI), the Agency has also supported a number of investment projects to the total value of £17.4 million. This Agency investment levered in an additional £138.9 million capital investment, and the projects supported were forecast to create 2,240 jobs and safeguard 1,424. Key projects include a grant for Blackburn-based manufacturing company PPE, enabling investment in state-of-the-art machinery to streamline production; while another investment of £428,000 in AMR Textiles Ltd towards the cost of new plant and equipment helped the company to develop new products create 27 new jobs and safeguard another 37 at their factory in Bolton.

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Regional Economic Context: The value of exports has risen from ÂŁ19.3 bn to ÂŁ23.7 bn. Foreign Direct Investment accounts for 16% of the Northwest economy, and the number of international students studying in the region has increased slightly from 25,000 to 25,330.

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ICT Key achievements, outputs and impacts ICT business assists – 3,300 Support ICT usage and digital content development and develop ICT infrastructure The Agency’s ICT Strategy aims to support companies to use and harness the benefits of ICT and digital technologies, and the development of digital content. The Agency made further progress with its policy through promotion of several successful projects around the region. •

A major marketing effort has led to over 3,300 companies being assisted to adopt and exploit ICT based solutions including e-commerce, homeworking, online marketing and e-procurement.

Project ACCESS, a groundbreaking scheme to deliver a high capacity wireless broadband network across Cumbria and North Lancashire, has continued to deliver major benefits to the businesses in the region with over 700 businesses engaging with the project this year. The project has increased the take up of broadband within Cumbria from 23% to more than 60% and will have a positive impact on GVA through improved market access and exposure, lower operating costs and improved efficiency for those companies engaging with the project. ACCESS has been named among the top five best European broadband projects.

Regional Economic Context: 99.99% of the region has broadband service availability, 74% of businesses use computer systems and 69% use the internet.

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Sustainable Growth Key achievements, outputs and impacts Launch of the Regional Climate Change Action Plan; Businesses supported 1,191; Skills assist – 230.

Develop resource efficiency, sustainable procurement and corporate social responsibility Climate change is a critical issue for the region. The NWDA is working vigorously with its partners to address the causes of climate change and adapt to the £30 billion opportunities and potential risks that it presents. •

The Agency led the development and launch of the region’s Climate Change Action Plan, which sets out priorities for action. The plan aims to exceed the Governments carbon emission target (currently set at a reduction in emissions of 60% by 2050). The Action Plan aims to deliver a low carbon and well adapted region by 2020. In the latter part of the year, the Agency has led and supported a regional partnership to monitor and coordinate delivery of the Plan; developed the evidence base for target setting and prioritising actions and commenced implementation of several actions to engage, encourage and enable businesses and organisations to reduce their carbon emissions and adapt to unavoidable climate change. The NWDA Board has signalled its strong support for delivering the Action Plan through indicative approval for a £23.5m programme of investment over the next three years.

With energy efficiency and waste disposal both major issues for the region, the Agency is continuing to assist Northwest businesses in reducing waste and managing their resources more efficiently. Through the BREW Northwest programme, the Agency is supporting Environment Connect, a new service providing a single point of contact for regional and national environmental business support services. The service will help Northwest companies save £3 million every year through improved environmental performance. The BREW programme has also investigated the feasibility of supporting sustainable procurement through Northwest supply chains, improving resource efficiency in the Tourism sector and produced case studies, tools and promotional materials to encourage the uptake of environmental goods and services.

Reinforcing the important area of energy research and development is the Joule Centre, an international centre for energy research which has been developed by the Agency and Northwest universities. Projects underway include an investigation into the region’s available tidal power resources, developing renewable energy technologies for commercialisation and assessing the potential for energy demand reduction through the impact assessment of future aviation scenarios.

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Regional Economic Context: The NW produces 30m tonnes of waste annually, 3.8m commercial, 4.5m industrial and 11.1 construction, demolition and excavation. The region has a total energy consumption level of 215,320 (GWh) and 3% of energy demand is produced from renewables.

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Skills and Education Key achievements, outputs and impacts Skill assists – 5,593; Work based training – 2,445; 612 companies accessed leadership and management skills training.

Tackling basic skills needs and meeting the skills needs of sectors and growth opportunities invest in workforce development, develop leadership, management and enterprise skills Meeting the skills needs of key sectors especially the high value and growth sectors is key to improving the productivity of the region if we are to close the GVA gap with the rest of the English regions. As the lead Regional Development Agency for employment, skills and higher education, the NWDA continues to drive forward a number of programmes to build a skilled workforce relevant to the needs of business and industry. We have established good and positive relationships with DFES, DTI, [DN: should we use their new names?] LSC, Job Centre Plus and Sector Skills Councils. •

During 2006/07, Agency projects supported 26,000 skills assists in areas such as workforce development, training for foundation degrees and basic skills training and provision.

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

In July 2006 the Agency, working with Business Link, secured the contract for the regional Skills Brokerage Service delivered under the Train to Gain brand in the Northwest. The service designed to help businesses identify their workforce training needs and link these with training and learning providers, marks the beginning of a new and more dynamic way of identifying comprehensive solutions to the business and skills requirements of employers.

Other initiatives being pioneered in this area include the £20.5 million Nuclear Academy in Cumbria, an NWDA and Northern Way funded project in partnership with ERDF, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency and Sellafield Ltd, which will help to identify and improve skills, develop common occupational standards for flexible working and promote training to recognized national qualifications throughout nuclear industries across the UK. It will form part of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear. With construction now underway, the Nuclear Academy is set to become a world-class centre of excellence in terms of nuclear decommissioning and energy production, in a

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sector which is expected to grow both nationally and internationally as we move to the next generation of nuclear power plants. •

Enabling Northern businesses to access world-class knowledge remains a significant objective for the Northern Way, which is driving forward the Northern Leadership Academy, a £5 million project to strengthen leadership across the North. During the year the Academy assisted 216 businesses with business skills training and supported 373 adults in work based training. The Academy has already published its first set of principles of leadership development, the first in a series to address the issues and requirements facing leadership development in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

The Leitch Review, published in December 2006, identified a greater future emphasis on knowledge-based jobs. In response to this, the Agency and its partners are investing heavily to ensure that the region is able to compete internationally and become a world leader for skills.

Develop educational infrastructure and skills for the future workforce The Agency has supported a number of significant projects throughout the year to develop greater links between business and Higher Education (HE) and encourage universities and colleges to play a larger role in the regional economy. Key transformational actions for skills development identified within the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) have also taken major steps forward and have included; •

The new University of Cumbria, which opens its doors to students in September 2007. The new university is expected to take 15,000 students on opening day, a figure which will rise to 20,000 in the next ten years, and will be critical to training and retaining talent in the region.

Education in Lancashire has also received a significant boost, following an £80 million investment by the Agency with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), HEFCE, LSC, Burnley College and Burnley Council for a new stateof-the-art campus and University Centre for Burnley College. The investment will help to build a stronger Higher Education framework for East Lancashire by promoting entrepreneurship and making education provision more responsive to local business needs.

In Cheshire, the Agency commended a £38 million world-class education programme is underway, which will transform education opportunities for 14 – 19 year-olds in the County. Macclesfield Learning Zone will provide a high quality education service to address the needs of local businesses, as well as housing a flagship Centre of Vocational Excellence for aerospace engineering and Warrington Collegiate will transform the provision of education within the area.

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Regional Economic Context: The region has done well in relation to this target in the last year for which we have data (2005). The number of people in the workforce without qualifications has reduced by 27,600. If that rate of reduction is maintained this RES target will be met. There is now no district with more than 29% of the workforce without qualifications. Graduate Qualifications show a similar pattern to the “no qualifications” target – the number of graduates in the workforce increased by 50,900 which is at a rate fast enough to meet the RES target if maintained. Other areas of improvement are number of adults studying level 2 qualifications, up from 39,000 to 52,000, numbers achieving Level 2’s, up from 68% to 79%. Similar success can be seen at level 3 with those studying up from 31,000 to 33,000 and achievement up from 74% to 80%. Foundation degree numbers have also increased from 4,410 to 5,590 and the number of FTE HE students has risen from 177,150 to 181,843. The region has maintained the percentage of workforce employed as managers and senior officials at 14%.

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People & Jobs Transforming the region Key achievements, outputs and impacts Jobs created – 4,609; Employment support – 1,585; Business start-up – 460; Business assists – 2,227; Investment levered - £64 million; Skill assists – 3,010.

The Agency has made considerable progress throughout the year to ensure that focused and integrated regeneration plans are developed across the Northwest which reflect regional and sub-regional strategic priorities. The regeneration of the region’s towns and cities remains a priority in driving forward economic growth and across the region’s urban areas; the Agency continues to work with Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) in implementing masterplans for the transformation of their areas. •

The Agency-supported Liverpool Vision programme continued to transform Liverpool city centre, as a result of the high quality retail, leisure, office, residential and public realm schemes being delivered as part of this programme. Construction of the Conference Centre and the new Arena on the Liverpool Waterfront is now well advanced and ahead of schedule for its January 2008 opening. The Waterfront Connections Programme, investment at the Pier Head and work on the Cruise Liner Terminal are progressing well. By starting construction of the new Museum of Liverpool on the Mann Island site, the Agency signaled a £32 million Agency investment creating one of the world’s leading city museums.

The Liverpool Land Development Company has pumped substantial investments into the Edge Lane gateway ahead of Capital of Culture 2008. An international business park at the former MTL bus depot and Marconi sites has commenced and it is expected this will lead to further investment and job creation from companies in the science, technology, digital, creative and IT sectors.

East Manchester’s physical, economic and social renewal continues, with a midterm evaluation of New East Manchester (NEM) activities showing that East Manchester has ‘added value’ to the economic success of the city centre over the past decade. The NEM URC are now in their 7th year of operation and have achieved well against a number of its targets. NEM has created 3131 jobs, created more than half it’s target of new/upgraded workspace and is at 82% of target to reach jobs safeguarded target. NWDA has allocated £70m to date in East Manchester contributing to a total of £800m of private and public sector investment. Some key successes this year included completion of central park phase 1, environmental improvements to Phillips Park and £16m relocation of Greggs bakery from Clayton to a new site in Openshaw.

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In Salford, plans to transform the Chapel Street corridor of the city are taking shape, following Agency support to regenerate land for development. The scheme, which will be delivered by Central Salford URC, aims to encourage new employment opportunities in, or near to, deprived communities.

In Lancashire, the Agency is working with the ReBlackpool Urban Regeneration Company by providing strategic leadership in delivery of the Blackpool Masterplan to secure Blackpool’s economic future. The Central Seafront area was upgraded, supported by a £12 million NWDA investment. £9 million of funding was granted to create an urban park along the resort’s gateway with £8 million for the assembly of key development sites. The Agency and partners established a Task Force for Blackpool, reviewing plans for regenerating the Resort in the light of the Regional Casino recommendations from the Government’s Independent Panel. Performing its strategic role, the Agency supported plans to promote private sector led development of the key growth cities of Preston and Lancaster.

Through West Lakes Renaissance, the Agency is implementing a number of programmes to regenerate communities, encourage new business opportunities and enhance skills in West Cumbria and Furness. In Workington and Maryport, a £14.5 million investment by the Agency will provide key public realm improvements, expand Maryport Harbour and examine the development potential of the former Corus steelworks. In Barrow, plans for the £60 million redevelopment of Barrow Port are progressing well, with key site acquisitions having taken place this year. To date the programme has helped to create and safeguard 60 jobs, assisted 171 individuals into jobs, supported the creation of 17 new businesses, supported 37 businesses and assisted 39 individuals with skills and vocational training.

In Carlisle, a growth city, the first phase of ‘Carlisle Renaissance’, the city’s regeneration vision, was launched with support from NWDA. This is an ambitious programme designed to promote, encourage and support businesses to invest in the city.

In Cheshire, a £4 million investment by the Agency is facilitating a number of environmental improvement and infrastructure schemes to create new business and employment opportunities within Ellesmere Port’s Economic Development Zone. The investment is expected to attract other public and private sector development and local employment initiatives.

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Regional Economic Context: From 2004 to 2005 the number of jobs in the Northwest declined by 55,600. However the number of knowledge jobs increased by 42,200 so that knowledge occupations now represent 38.5% of all jobs. This is an increase of 1.6% points compared to 1% in England. The Northwest workforce has increased by 2,900 from 2005 – 2006. The employment rate has declined but only by 0.1% points compared to 0.3% points in England as a whole. There are still 4 districts with an employment rate of less than 68%. It is worth noting that although there is mixed news on employment rates, its contribution to the GVA gap of the region has now reduced from accounting for 23% of the gap at the time of the RES to 20% (in 2005). In terms of tackling barriers to work and developing Job Linkages, the number of childcare places in the region has risen from 219,300 to 222,000, employment rates amongst the disabled has improved from 43.9% to 44.1%, for non-white from 54.1% to 54.7%, and the over 50’s from 34.7% to 34.8%. There has been significant improvement in the number of businesses per 10,000 population in rural areas from 366 to 399, improving the opportunities for local employment. The population is showing significant signs of growth with number of national insurance registrations from non-UK nationals increasing (31,300 to 49,160), % of graduates from outside the NW which we are retaining (24% to 31.8%) and those who study outside the NW returning here to work (37.9% to 51.7%) both showing significant increases.

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Infrastructure Key achievements, outputs and impacts Jobs created – 1,339; Employment support - 827; Investment levered - £23 million; Brownfield land remediated – 176ha; Liverpool Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases launch; official opening of National Bio-manufacturing Centre at Speke.

Determining priorities Improving the region’s transport and infrastructure remains an investment, planning and lobbying priority for the Agency, which continues to use its strategic influence to ensure that Regional Spatial, Transport and Housing Strategies and priorities are aligned to the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). Intra-regional connectivity, as well as links to other regions in the UK, Europe and the world, remains vital in improving access for businesses, people and goods. •

Working in partnership with the North West Regional Assembly and Government Office for the North West (GONW), the NWDA is building on advice set out to government in the Regional Funding Allocations, a key document which sets out agreed housing, transport and economic development priorities for the region. A significant milestone was the announcement of the Department for Transport’s 10-year transport programme for the Northwest, which saw schemes including Manchester’s Metrolink expansion and the Mersey Gateway receive vital government support.

By working with partners to ensure the 2007-2013 European Regional Development Fund Programme aligns with the Regional Economic Strategy, the Agency is seizing the opportunity to move forward the competitiveness agenda, linking European Union funding and agenda with domestic and regional priorities.

Investing in new landscapes The regeneration of brownfield land to increase the value of the region’s thriving natural environment is a key priority for the Agency. •

Throughout the year, the NWDA’s £23 million Newlands programme has transformed sites at Bidston Moss (Wirral) and Moston Vale (North Manchester) into new community woodland, with additional investment at Brockholes (Preston) set to create a landmark centre of excellence for recreation and wildlife. These projects have resulted in 60 hectares of land being remediated.

In Lancashire, the Agency’s investment in the REMADE land regeneration programme is breathing new life into sites at Haslingden, Accrington and Fishwick Nature Reserve, while across Cumbria local communities in Barrow, Carlisle, Maryport and Workington will benefit from new and upgraded open spaces and comprehensive cycle networks, following a £4.8 million Agency investment. 25


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

Infrastructure works at the £9 million Agecroft Commerce Park, a former Salford colliery site, are now complete, with several major companies having already relocated their business to the site. In Greater Manchester, Kingsway’s growing reputation as a business location has been reinforced, with the first business occupations of the £350 million site expected to be achieved over the next 12 months.

In Lancashire, private sector led re-development of the Regional Ordnance Factory Chorley Strategic Regional Site is well underway following Agency investment to open up the site, creating up to 3,000 jobs and £100 million of private sector investment.

Work is also underway at key employment sites on Edge Lane, Liverpool, where NWDA investment is supporting the development of Liverpool Innovation Park. The improvements to the Park, which aim to attract investment from businesses in the science, technology, digital, creative and IT sectors, are expected to generate 1,000 jobs for the area. In other improvements to the area, the NWDAowned former Littlewoods building is currently being transformed into apartments, commercial space and a hotel, as part of a £65 million scheme by property experts Urban Splash.

Widnes Waterfront’s regeneration also continues, following a £5.6 million investment by the Agency to bring over eighty hectares of derelict land back into productive commercial and tourism use, creating 2,700 new jobs and levering in an additional £70 million investment from the private sector.

To enable the Agency to focus on further opportunities to bring forward strategic employment sites, a public-private partnership was launched by the NWDA and Ashtenne Industrial Fund (AIF) in December 2006. The joint venture will maximise the growth potential of the Agency’s portfolio of commercial property, particularly in providing accommodation for companies to create employment within the region.

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Regional Economic Context: The number of rail journeys in the region stands at 58 million, and bus journeys stands at 500 million. Although average vehicle delays have increased slightly, with maximum average delay increasing from 7.93 to 7.76 minutes, the average for most significant delays have reduced from 20.75 to 18.51 minutes. The number of Metrolink journeys is up slightly from 19.5m to 19.6m. John Lennon Airport has seen growth of passengers from 4.4 m to 4.9 million. The amount of floor space developed for industrial and/or commercial use has increased from a level of 835,896 to 1,433,888 sqm and the percentage of dwellings built on previously developed land has increased from 77% to 81%. The percentage of vacant dwellings has also decreased from 3.4% to 2.8%, and the NW’s percentage of low demand dwellings has reduced from 46.4% to 39.6%

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Quality Of Life Culture and Image Key achievements and impacts Businesses created – 108; Businesses supported – 842; Investment levered - £70 million England’s Northwest is becoming increasingly recognised at both national and international level as one of the most artistic and culturally dynamic regions in Europe. •

As Liverpool begins the countdown to its European Capital of Culture celebrations, the Agency is working closely with the Liverpool Culture Company on marketing the city, and the Northwest, to the UK and overseas. Helping to maximise the impact of Capital of Culture are complementary programmes being run by the sub-regional Tourist Boards, including Cheshire’s Year of Gardens and Taste Lancashire ‘08.

Liverpool’s reputation for culture and the arts was reinforced as the Liverpool Biennial, supported by the Agency, continued to go from strength to strength with over 400,000 visitors to the event in 2006 – an increase of 50,000 on 2004.

Elsewhere in the region, the world’s first international festival of original new work, Manchester International Festival, is expected to attract thousands of local, national and international visitors. The Agency is a major sponsor of the Festival, which was launched in 2006 with a series of trailblazer events.

Strategic tourism leadership With the Northwest’s tourism industry valued at almost £11 billion, it is essential to ensure that the region is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the market’s changing nature. •

To reinforce the region’s competitive edge, this year the Agency published a revised Tourism Strategy and developed a regional Business Tourism Strategy. The region’s reputation for excellence was bolstered further when the Northwest went on to win a record-breaking four Gold accolades in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2007.

Encouraging visitors and investment to the region and showcasing the very best of the Northwest’s offer continues to pay dividends. An Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by the Agency, revealed upbeat trends in the perceptions of the region as a place to live, work, visit and do business, with 35% of British people living outside the region associating the Northwest with success, a 13% increase from 2001.

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Marketing the region The Agency is continuing to exploit a number of themes with clear market potential in order to capitalise on the region’s distinct range of experiences and to encourage visitors. •

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

Visitor marketing campaigns have been launched to highlight the region’s cultural assets and natural environment. The Agency challenged London’s position as the arts capital of the UK by profiling some of the best artistic work from the region at ‘Exposed’, a one-off showcase event at Manchester Square, London, which attracted major figures in the arts and culture scene.

With the Lake District at the heart of the Beatrix Potter biopic, Miss Potter, the Agency has also focused attention on promoting the Northwest’s stunning natural environment and encouraging visitors to discover the beauty of the area, and the region.

The Northwest continues to be successful in attracting major events which help to project a positive image of the region to an international audience. Major events secured for 2007 include the Turner Prize, World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament and the Dunlop British Open. Events supported by the Agency in the past year generated £18 million for the region.

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

Improving the Visitor Experience Working in partnership with the five Tourist Boards, the Agency successfully launched the concept of the “Visitor Economy” which is now contained in the revised “Strategy for Tourism in England’s Northwest 2003-10.” The strategy sets out a vision to deliver a thriving visitor economy that is second to none, underlined by six strategic aims; enhanced communication with visitors; higher levels of productivity and performance; improved products and higher quality experiences; improved skill levels; an improved infrastructure and all activity to be based on sustainable development. A key requirement of the strategy is the development of “a high quality evidence base for all decisions about tourism investment and from which to measure performance”. A Regional Tourism Research Strategy has been launched to address this. Key projects and outputs in this area include; 29


A £5.5 million Visitor Information Infrastructure project was approved and will run to 2010. It will fund innovative projects which will deliver a world-class visitor information services to provide a competitive advantage to the region and that make a measurable and valuable, contribution to the visitor economy. It will deliver major improvements in servicing the information needs of visitors by increasing commercial performance, and maximising the opportunities to benefit from new technology.

The Liverpool Welcome pilot project was completed to enhance the customer care training programme which has led to a two year project to run to Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008 and the delivery of 2,700 courses. It will deliver a higher level of visitor welcome and create a legacy for the future development of the destination.

The development of a framework for the Tourism Business Clusters by the five Northwest Tourist Boards was completed and has created more efficient mechanisms for working to improve productivity in the sector.

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, was set up during the year to grow the potential of Hadrian’s Wall in partnership with One North East. In addition the £1 million Heritage Tourism Improvement Scheme, funded by a partnership including NWDA and English heritage, has encouraged heritage attractions to improve educational facilities, disabled access and interpretive facilities.

The year has also seen the launch of Master Planning for Chester Zoo, Blackpool and Lowther Castle and Gardens in Cumbria.

Investing In Communities and the Environment The capacity of the Voluntary and Community Sector to contribute to the regional Economic Strategy is being strengthened through a new Strategy to be developed by the Voluntary and Community Sector Capacity Builders. •

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

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

The £3m Natural Economy programme commenced in January. This partnership with Natural England and SITA UK Ltd aims to create greater economic gain from the region’s outstanding natural environment through closer alignment between economic and environmental priorities. Key areas of work 30


include facilitating better cooperation between the Tourism and Environment sectors and promoting the concept of green infrastructure planning into regional strategy development and delivery. •

Clean, safe and green communities make good economic sense. They create the infrastructure needed for sustainable economic development The Agency has invested over £100k to pilot a Liveability Foundation which brings all of the current good Cleaner Safer Greener (CSG) practice into one place. In addition the Agency in conjunction with ENCAMS and Local Authorities funded another seven pilot implementation areas across the Northwest.

Providing Economic Leadership and Partnership Working The Agency continued to strengthen its relationship with Sub-Regional Partnerships (SRPs) throughout the year to ensure the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) is delivered and supported at a sub-regional and local level. Economic action plans are now in place that identify the priorities for improving the performance of each subregion. •

The NWDA has been using its strategic influence to improve the economic prospects of West Cumbria. Under the auspices of the West Cumbria Strategic Forum, the Agency is helping to develop a spatial master plan, which will act as a blueprint for future investment priorities in the area. Jointly funded by the Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the plan is designed to counter the effect of job losses resulting from decommissioning and aims to establish West Cumbria as a centre for energy, environment, technology and innovation.

The Agency continued to support the work of private sector led Vision Boards in Preston, Lancaster and Burnley to develop and implement local economic strategies in support of RES transformational actions. NWDA has encouraged the establishment of these Vision Boards in key urban areas facing change. These Vision Boards are intended to provide dynamic, innovative and visionary support and advice for the development of local economic growth plans with a strong private sector input.

The City Region Development Programmes submitted to the Northern Way in September 2006 provide the core of sub-regional plans and further work is underway to support the development of the re-focused Northern Way agenda. The three city regions of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Central Lancashire are key growth drivers of the Northwest, with the potential to lift the long-term economic growth of the region.

In other areas of work, the Northern Way programme, a collaboration between three Northern RDAs and Government, has continued to pioneer initiatives to improve employability and provide targeted training support for the long term unemployed, especially those on incapacity benefits by supporting the delivery of skills required by employers, linking with other Government initiatives like City Strategy, local action through Local Area Agreements and regional programmes to tackle worklessness. Liverpool and Birkenhead, Barrow

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Furness, Manchester and Blackpool are all areas to benefit from the Northern Way programme to drive down the number of people claiming incapacity benefit and improve career prospects. The N8, a collaboration between the Northern Eight Universities and funded by the Northern Way was launched. Its aim is to drive up economic performance across the North by pooling excellence so as to help Northern based businesses innovate faster and better, and thus curve out a larger share of the global market for the Northern economy.

Strengthening rural communities Supporting the ongoing growth of the rural economy remains a priority for the Agency, which is working to provide new economic opportunities for rural communities and businesses. •

In Cheshire, the NWDA-supported Rural Enterprise Programme has already exceeded all of its targets ahead of schedule, investing over £10 million in the local economy, supporting the establishment of 115 new businesses and creating or safeguarding over 1,200 jobs.

The region’s Market Town Initiative continues to deliver social and community regeneration by raising rural living standards and attracting investment, with over £11 million invested by the NWDA to date. In Barnoldswick (Lancashire) the creation of an enterprise centre will create 20 new jobs and lever in a further £440,000 worth of public funds, while in Millom (Cumbria) a new network centre is providing a range of facilities to support local enterprise and start-up businesses.

Across the region, a valuable service assisting rural businesses with their development proposals received a further 3 years investment by the NWDA. The Rural Planning Facilitation Service, which will create 220 new jobs, 45 new farm-based enterprises and 50 other businesses, will also lever in an additional £1.5 million of private sector investment.

Improving the health of the current and potential workforce Healthy workplaces are vital to tackling days lost through ill health and sickness. The year saw the publication of a new Health at Work Strategy. Published with the help of the NWDA and regional NHS bodies, the strategy will encourage employers to place health promotion at the core of their businesses and organisations leading to a healthier workforce.

Regional Economic Context: 87% of NW residents view the region as a good place to live and 45% of businesses believe it is a good place to operate. The region has a strong and thriving visitor economy, which contributes £10.9 bn and with 200,000 full time jobs. The region attracts 29m overnight stays and 240 million day visits, it attracts 10.5% of domestic trips, 11% of spend and 7.8% of overseas visits and 6.2% of spend.

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2006/07 Performance Tasking Framework and Corporate Performance The Agency is tasked with 11 core outputs (Annex 1). For the year 2006/07, the Agency has achieved or exceeded all of its tasking framework output targets. The Agency also monitors its internal performance through the Corporate Performance framework as set out in its Corporate Plan and for the year 2006/07 the Agency met all the key performance indicators and targets apart from three as illustrated by the key performance indicator (KPI) report (Annex 2). For those three indicators recorded as not met an assessment is provided for each detailing the reasons they were not met as part of the annex.

Improvement Plan Following the Agency’s “Performing Strongly” rating in its Independent Performance Assessment in 2006, an Improvement Plan was agreed with the National Audit office focussing on actions to address areas of development. The Agency has made good progress against the improvement plan. Progress against this plan is reviewed quarterly through a Quarterly Business Plan Monitoring and risk management processes. By the end of 2006/07, the Agency had implemented the majority of identified actions with any outstanding ones being carried forward as part of the 2007/08 Business Planning cycle.

Scrutiny - Skills and Education and People and Jobs Under its statutory scrutiny role, the Northwest Regional Assembly set up a Review and Scrutiny Group with the NWDA to review implementation of two strategic themes from the Regional Economic Strategy. The Agency will formally respond to the reports on People and Jobs and Skills and Education in early 2007/08.

Improving delivery and impact while learning from past activity Evaluation The Agency launched a revamped Evaluation Strategy in line with the RDA Impact Report and Impact Evaluation Framework. The new strategy will ensure investment decisions are informed by evaluation of past activity, NWDA can show how its activity has achieved things that would otherwise not have occurred (additionality) and can articulate what the actual impact of the interventions has been on the regional economy. The Agency has been working in partnership with other RDAs and Central Government to identify and share effective practice and ensure evaluation findings effectively influence regional and national policy development and implementation. The Agency has now drawn up a comprehensive evaluation plan of all projects and programmes which is being implemented in conjunction with other RDAs and DTI.

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Finance, Efficiency & Organisational Issues Key Facts Budget 2006/07 - £402 million; Outturn 2006/07 – 402 million; Variance 2006/070.01%; Efficiency savings - Target - £28.6 Million, Actual - £51 million In 2006/07 the Agency launched a major change agenda and re-organisation leading to better operational focus for delivering the RES, strengthening of the organisation’s capacity to develop and lead on policy development, improvement in project and programme delivery, better Agency wide co-ordination of sub-regional partners and corporate effectiveness. The Agency’s Human Resources, Operations and Corporate Resources teams have provided invaluable support to a number of cross agency internal and external projects during the year. •

A new People and Performance Management Framework and a Learning and Development Strategy was also launched.

The Agency trained a series of cross NWDA Equality & Diversity champions and formed a Champions Forum whilst a Disability Scheme and Gender Scheme were both delivered. There will now be mandatory Equality & Diversity Training for all employees planned from 2006/07 onwards.

During the last 12 months the Agency updated its risk management policies and processes, integrating them with the performance management framework leading to better decision making. Effective management of risk is now reflected within internal Agency training and awareness programmes and has been rolled out to external partners such as Sub Regional Partnerships and Urban Regeneration Companies.

In the 2006/07 financial year against a budget of £402,190,000, the actual spend to the end of March was £401,950,000. The Agency spent 99.9% of its budget with just a £240,000 recorded under spend. The Northern Way projects and growth fund achieved full spend against the target with all projects coming on line as anticipated.

Total efficiency savings for the year was £51.3 million against a target of £28.6 million. Efficiency savings were made in a number of areas including legal, recruitment and Selected Finance for Investment leading to the Agency surpassing its target by a significant margin.

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Highlights of NWDA Business Plan 2007/08 The 2007/08 Business Plan sets out the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s strategic objectives, key activities and resources for 2007/08. It is focused on delivery of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) and its transformational actions (TAs), which are highlighted. The NWDA Board has approved £420.9 million for 2007- 08 programme expenditure investment. Detailed internal plans and evaluation arrangements for the Agency’s Directorates are in place to guide the delivery of the priorities set out in the Business Plan

Strategic Priorities • • • • • • •

Ensure the economic priorities set out in the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) are fully aligned with other key regional strategies. Ensure the Agency is fully engaged in, and influences, national policy relevant to the Northwest, including the CSR 2007. Implement plans for the long-term development of Sub-Regional Partnerships (SRPs) and City Regions. Undertake a review of the Northern Way priorities. Secure the approval of the European ERDF Programme by the European Commission and implement a successful transfer of ERDF to the Agency. Lead the development and delivery of the Northwest Equality and Diversity Strategy. Deliver further efficiencies in the Agency’s overheads to maximise investment in the region, and prioritise evaluation of programmes.

Business • • • • • • • •

Deliver Business Link Northwest as the prime access point for businesses and individuals seeking business support. Launch a Northwest Enterprise Forum to provide a coordinated approach to promoting enterprise. Drive growth in priority sectors, including Food & Drink, Digital & Creative, Financial and Professional Services. Implement the delivery of mediacity:uk, including the relocation of key BBC departments. Develop and launch a new strategy for Manufacturing Northwest. Support the Northwest Science Council and implement the review of major Science Fund projects. Deliver the region’s Internationalisation Strategy and Action Plan. Complete the Climate Change Action Plan and agree regional carbon reduction targets.

35


Skills and Education • • • •

Identify the skills needs required by priority sectors. Support development of the current workforce by influencing progression from Further to Higher Education and ensure the effectiveness of the National Skills Academies. Develop a Northwest Leadership and Management Action Plan, working with the Northern Leadership Academy. Implement the University of Cumbria and Burnley Higher Education projects.

People and Jobs • • • • • •

Support the development of the City Employment Strategies for Liverpool, Manchester and Blackburn. Support the National Skills Academy for Nuclear. Continue to support the West Cumbria, Barrow and Blackpool Masterplans. Develop key transformational programmes in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. Work with partners to develop proposals for economic investment for regional growth towns including Crewe, Chester, Warrington, Lancaster and Carlisle. Agree the NWDA’s rural policy and development plan and future rural investment priorities.

Infrastructure • • • •

Deliver the Agency’s input to implementation of strategic regional transport priorities. Respond to the Regional Funding Allocations priorities. Prepare a forward programme for prioritised investment in Strategic Regional Sites. Agree and implement a revised approach to land regeneration activity.

Quality of Life • • • • • •

Deliver a targeted national and international programme to promote the region’s credentials as a place to visit and invest in. Implement key major events including Manchester International Festival and the Turner Prize. Prepare the benefits framework for London 2012 and develop the Northwest Skills and Volunteering plan and Training Camp facilities. Implement a range of measures to maximise the regional opportunities of European Capital of Culture. Support the delivery of development proposals for Chester Zoo and Lowther Castle. Deliver the Natural Economy programme.

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37


ANNEX 1 NWDA OUTPUT PERFORMANCE OUTPUT INDICATOR

ACHIEVED

MIN TARGET

1. Jobs Created and Safeguarded

20,205

12,750

15,000

17,250

Target exceeded due to a number of large scale projects.

2. Number of people assisted to get a job

3,978

1,500

2,000

2,500

3. Businesses Created

3,306

1,720

2,150

2,580

4. Businesses Assisted

23,997

16,800

21,000

25,200

4a) New Collaborations with the Knowledge Base

1,341

750

1,000

1,250

5. Investment Levered (ÂŁm)

373

320

430

540

5. % of Private Investment Levered

69%

38%

50%

62%

5f. Brownfield Remediated (Ha)

299

245

290

335

6. Skills Development

26,045

10,000

Achieved target through major projects including the New East Manchester URC Economic Programme, Business start ups and City Focus - Liverpool City Centre. The target was exceeded with over 3,200 successful start ups delivered through Business Link and other projects. The Agency has achieved its target with Business Link activity (5,200), Project Access (720), and the Tourist Boards (2,300) major contributors. Through programmes such as the Higher Education Innovation Fund the Agency has exceeded its annual target. The Agency has met its target as a result of major private investments in the SFI programme and public investments like Kings Waterfront made with partner Liverpool Vision. Targets have been achieved for 2006/07 as a result of commitment to leveraging higher levels of private investment. With Selective Finance for Investment achieving ÂŁ175 million alone the Agency has had a very successful year. The midpoint target level has been met though developments like Mersey Waterfront, the Coalfields Communities and Newlands. The NWDA is likely to be one of the highest RDA contributors to national targets. A very strong year of achievement for the Agency thanks to a large programme of work based training.

6a) Number of adults achieving at least NVQ2

1,028

340

450

560

6b) Number of adults gaining basic skills

1,914

825

1,100

1,375

38

MID POINT TARGET

12,500

MAX TARGET

15,000

COMMENTARY

The Agency has achieved its maximum target range for the year The Agency has achieved its maximum target range for the year


ANNEX 2 CORPORATE PERFORMANCE INDICATORS Target

Actual

100%

100%

MPs/MEPs – Acknowledge receipt of letter within 24 hours and provide a full response within 10 working days

100%

95%

PQs – Respond to all Parliamentary Questions within the stipulated deadline

100%

100%

Telephone Calls – Answer incoming calls within 10 seconds

75%

99%

People Sickness absence rate

<3.5%

2.6%

Staff turnover rate

<15%

16%

Recruitment (internal competition only) – Timescale for recruitment, allowing for one month notice period

<11 weeks

10.7

Recruitment (external competition) – Timescale for recruitment, allowing for one month notice period

<17 weeks

11.4

Recruitment (external competition) – Timescale for recruitment, allowing for three month notice period

<25 weeks

12.7

ICT User satisfaction (rating out of 7)

5

6.25

% of help calls resolved within agreed timescales

80%

95%

Network availability within core business hours

100%

100%

Finance Payment of undisputed invoices within 30 days

95%

92%

% Difference between forecast and actual expenditure

<10%

1%

2.5%

5%

Customers Complaints – Acknowledge a complaint within 24 hours and provide a full response within 10 working days

Efficiencies Overall reduction in administration budget and generation of efficiency in programme, which is incorporated back into the programme budget.

Notes Customers MPs/MEP – Acknowledge receipt of letter within 24 hours and provide full response within 10 working days – this equates to 2 out of 41 requests missed due to the complexity of analysing the information required leading to a slight delay. People Staff turnover rate – target not met as a result of the compulsory redundancies due to the reorganisation. Finance Payment of undisputed invoices within 30 days – not met as a result of a technical issue which affected the assumptions used for estimating the target level.

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http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/NWDA%20ANNUAL%20PERFORMANCE%20REPORT%202006%20-%2007  

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/NWDA%20ANNUAL%20PERFORMANCE%20REPORT%202006%20-%2007.pdf

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