NWDA 315 Degree Magazine: Feb 2007: Global Winner

Mar 10, 2008 | Publisher: NWDA | Category: Other |  


315° THE RDA MAGAZINE FEB 2007 ISSUE 11 GLOBAL WINNER Auto industry delivers model performance Phoenix rises Rebirth of east Manchester Culture city Liverpool unveils 08 programme Wind of change Gearing up for low-carbon economy 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 3 2 - 0 1 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 3 1 P a g e 2 THE THIRD DEGREE John Stageman BUSINESS Windfall for enterprising councils Auto industry gears up RDA priorities for government spending Business support reorganised Biocentre to develop new medicines SKILLS AND EDUCATION Culture campus link to creative careers University drive to help industry PEOPLE AND JOBS Rising confidence in East Manchester Liverpool builds bright future INFRASTRUCTURE Kingsway to conquer property market QUALITY OF LIFE Birthday city celebrates Meeting the climate change challenge Tourism awards honour role models REGULARS People in the region Event highlights Getting in touch 31 30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 15 14 12 11 10 8 6 4 2 CONTENTS HIGHLIGHTS OUR VISION: ‘A dynamic, sustainable international economy which competes on the basis of knowledge, advanced technology and an excellent quality of life for all.’ CONTACTS Editor Trevor Bates email@trevorbates.fsnet.co.uk NWDA Erica Boardman email: erica.boardman@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400 217 visit www.nwda.co.uk & www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com 315° PHOENIX RISES Introducing East Manchester – a brave new world of well-designed housing, world-class sporting facilities, rising educational aspirations and soon home to the UK’s first regional casino. CULTURE CITY As the countdown continues to its year as European Capital of Culture, Liverpool has begun a programme of exciting taster events designed to whet the appetite for 2008. 16 22 24 THE RDA MAGAZINE FEB 2007 ISSUE 11 WIND OF CHANGE Through the Northwest Climate Change Action Plan, the region is taking a lead nationally in establishing a sustainable, low- carbon economy, which should help it to gain a competitive advantage in an emerging marketplace. 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 2 - 3 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 3 : 5 6 P a g e 1 3 important part in Blackpool’s regeneration masterplan and was a key transformational action in the Regional Economic Strategy. Our next steps will be to work hard with our partners in Blackpool to identify a way forward for the resort. Our commitment to helping Blackpool’s continued economic development must now be a priority. Elsewhere in the region, the new University of Cumbria opens its doors to students this year and will be vital to retaining talent in the region. Partners have been working hard for a number of years to build a stronger higher education framework for Cumbria in particular, and this year will see the realisation of the new University. Finally, Liverpool begins the countdown to its European Capital of Culture celebrations with its 800th birthday in 2007. This year’s celebrations will set a strong precedent for the cultural programme of 2008. The city’s Capital of Culture accolade offers a unique opportunity to showcase both Liverpool and the Northwest to the UK and overseas and the Agency will be working closely with the Culture Company to ensure that we make the most of the economic benefits it provides. Now that everyone in the region is working towards the priorities identified in the Regional Economic Strategy, we must focus our attention and our collective investment on making sure that they happen. These are exciting times for the Northwest. Let’s ensure that we seize these opportunities and build a truly world-beating region. 2007 promises to be a watershed year for many of the Northwest’s transformational projects. In January, the BBC confirmed it will be moving 1,500 jobs from London to Salford in Greater Manchester. The move is a massive boost for creative industries in the North of England. Not only will this create the largest BBC presence outside of London, it will also bring together several departments in Salford as the anchor tenant for mediacity:uk - employing 15,500 people and adding £200 million every year to the regional economy. The BBC’s commitment to the region marks what I am convinced will be a year of key progress for England’s Northwest. Another critical project to get underway is the reorganisation of business support. The business base in the Northwest is strong, with a long tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship. However, if our businesses are to improve their productivity, embrace innovation and raise skill levels, it is crucial that business support is streamlined and simplified. The new Northwest Business Link service, which will be introduced in April, will provide a high-quality, consistent and targeted service for businesses. Importantly, it will address their needs and skills gaps whilst also impacting positively on the regional economy through encouraging business development and growth. As this edition of 315 goes to print, the Casino Advisory Panel has just recommended East Manchester as the location for the UK’s first regional casino, which is exciting news for the Northwest. The casino will build on the area’s ongoing regeneration, with the economic benefits felt across the whole of the region, and the Agency will continue to offer its support for Manchester’s plans. We are, however, disappointed for Blackpool. The regional casino would have played an CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE A YEAR OF PROGRESS Since the NWDA was established seven years ago, we’ve learnt a lot about what really drives economic growth in the Northwest. One of the most crucial lessons is that we must focus our attention and investment on transformational projects that have the most impact on our economy. Bryan Gray, Chairman, February 2007 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 2 - 3 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 3 : 5 6 P a g e 2 employing around 2,500 people, many of whom are engaged in drug manufacture – our second largest supply facility worldwide. The Northwest is also an important global base for marketing and other strategic activities. So you have a big impact on the regional economy? Absolutely. A recent study on the company’s economic contribution to the UK makes fascinating reading. Allowing for the indirect effects of the company’s activities we support a total of 12,000 full time jobs in the Northwest, generate a turnover of £2.5 billion, a GVA of nearly £1.2 billion and employment income of £410 million. We also spent £172 million on buying goods and services on the region. It’s also worth noting that around £560 million of the company’s overall UK R&D expenditure of £749 million took place in the Northwest in 2004. Alderley Park has a distinguished history of drug discovery. How did all this come about? Leaders of ICI Dyestuffs Division in North Manchester had the bold vision just before the Second World War to see that there was a strategic future in pharmaceutical medicines and that led to the purchase of the former Stanley estate in 1950 to pursue that aim. But it was the invention of beta-blockers by the Nobel Prize winner Sir James Black that really put the place on the map. Since then we have developed a string of world-leading cancer medicines including Nolvadex and Arimidex which have become gold standard treatments for breast cancer. Incidentally, it’s 50 years this year since we established our first R&D lab on the estate at Mereside. That sounds like a good excuse for a celebration? Certainly. There’ll be a series of celebratory events throughout 2007 themed around science and innovation. We shall be looking to establish commemorative links with outside organisations covering science and the arts. We’ll be marking the occasion with events that highlight, for example, our 50 years in Cheshire and a half-century of contributing to patient health. What will be the drivers of success in the future? Innovation, collaboration and continued investment in people and highly competitive, specialised facilities. We have invested over £500 million in the Northwest in the last few years including £60 million on a new cancer research centre and £58 million on our Centre for Advanced Lead Discovery where we identify compounds to create tomorrow’s medicines. It always frightens me the amount of money we invest every day but drug discovery is a costly, high-risk business. AstraZeneca 4 THE THIRD DEGREE “IT ALWAYS FRIGHTENS ME THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE INVEST EVERY DAY BUT DRUG DISCOVERY IS A COSTLY, HIGH-RISK BUSINESS.” JOHN STAGEMAN SENIOR EXECUTIVE ASTRAZENECA AstraZeneca has a strong presence in the Northwest. How big is the company’s regional footprint? It’s very significant. Alderley Park is our biggest Research & Development (R&D) centre worldwide. Of the 4,500 employed there, 3,500 are scientists and one in ten of those has a PhD so it’s a huge repository of scientific knowledge and expertise. It’s our largest global discovery centre for cancer but it’s also forging ahead with research into infection, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and inflammatory illness. Just down the road in Macclesfield we have another site Dr John Stageman is a senior executive (Vice-President) at AstraZeneca, a leader in the global pharmaceuticals industry with strong roots in the Northwest. Based in a world-class research environment at Alderley Park, Cheshire, he is currently spearheading the company’s move into the fast-growing biological medicines market. He is also an influential figure on the Northwest Science Council. JOHN STAGEMAN 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 4 _ 5 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 3 5 P a g e 1 accounts for one third of all private sector R&D investment in the Northwest and a quarter of all regional investment in R&D. What concerns us is the way public research expenditure in this region lags behind private investment. It’s completely the reverse in the south. The government invests a dominant share of its R&D expenditure in the Golden Triangle regions – London, Oxford and Cambridge – with industry the smaller player. So we are lobbying Whitehall to think carefully about how to reverse that trend. Is drug discovery getting easier or harder? It’s probably more difficult than it used to be. The easier targets have been discovered. The pharmaceutical industry is worried about its productivity because now it’s more costly and takes longer to develop new medicines. Some people say it’s also less innovative. That’s a major challenge for us. One of the answers is to seek more interaction with universities and small bio-companies. In the past we have been more reliant on our own internal efforts so we are now putting more effort and resources into externalisation and creating further links with outside groups. How can regional institutions participate in this diversified R&D model? As a global company we can only justify entering into collaborative agreements if our prospective partners are globally competitive. What Manchester has done under Alan Gilbert in building a big single university with clear focus on those key areas where it wants to be world-class is an excellent example. There has been a fantastic transformation and we are now working much more closely with them on cancer, biomarkers and breaking areas of science such as systems biology, non-invasive imaging and bioinformatics. We have also signed an agreement with the University of Liverpool to fund the UK’s first professorship dedicated to obesity research. Do you share the concerns of the wider business community about skill shortages and educational deficiencies in the UK workforce? We have several serious concerns. Science is not being portrayed as an attractive career option as effectively as it should be and consequently bright young people are going into the legal profession, finance and the media. Ultimately, this will have a serious knock-on effect on UK plc. Here in Cheshire, for example, we have recruited over 100 Science and Engineering Ambassadors (SEAS) from our staff to go into local schools to connect with specialist projects and communicate their enthusiasm for science to a young audience. The teaching of chemistry, or lack of it, is another worry. Alarm bells have started ringing in the industry over the short- sighted, cost-driven closure of university chemistry departments and loudly so over the restriction of finance for practical chemistry at degree level. It’s not causing us a problem right now but we might not be able to say that in five years time. Finally it is quite clear to me that our recent expansion into biological medicines will severely test the availability of relevant specialists here in the UK. The company clearly has a strong social conscience. Where does it stand on environmental issues? It’s enlightened self-interest to be concerned about the environment. R&D people tend to be a rebellious lot and would not come to work here at Alderley Park unless we were rightly concerned about reducing our carbon footprint and recycling our waste. We have rolled out a number of energy saving, waste reduction and green transport initiatives in Cheshire and at other sites. Recently our Cheshire sites won the ‘Best Environmental Practice’ award at the Northwest Business Environment Awards event. We have a strong belief that personal responsibility and local actions can reap huge global benefits. 5 For further information: www.astrazeneca.com 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 4 _ 5 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 3 5 P a g e 2 BUSINESS 6 Blackpool, East Pennine and Liverpool and Sefton are among the successful areas to have secured national government funding to promote enterprise and inward investment. The Northwest raised its game in the second round of the government's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) funding, winning £54.5 million or 37% of the £157 million on offer from the government for disadvantaged areas, far more than any other region. In Pennine Lancashire, four local authorities are teaming up with the area's three professional football clubs in an innovative, sport-led programme to stimulate employment and a stronger enterprise culture. Backed by a £22.3 million windfall from LEGI the partnership will piggyback on the area’s soccer heritage and infrastructure to engage residents who would normally shun mainstream business support structures. One approach will be to convert unused space beneath the stands at Blackburn and Burnley, two of the clubs supporting the programme, into sheltered accommodation, or ‘enterprise havens’, for business start-ups. The other club involved is Accrington FC. Only £4 million of the funding package awarded to the four borough councils, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle, will go on capital build projects. The rest will be used to support the growth of small businesses in an area where self-employment is viewed as a last resort. Elsewhere in the region, Liverpool and Sefton, who submitted a joint bid, were awarded £21.4 million and Blackpool £10.8 million. LEGI is a joint ten-year £300 million programme between the Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry and was first announced in the Chancellor’s 2005 Budget. REGIONAL PRIORITIES The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) worked closely with Government Office for the North West on formulating the bids, which reflect the priorities of the Regional Economic Strategy. Steven Broomhead, the NWDA’s Chief Executive, said the awards “will really make a difference at grass root level by boosting employment and building WINDFALL HELPS “ONE OF OUR AIMS IS TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE ARE BETTER PREPARED FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT.” ALAN CAVILL HEAD OF CORPORATE POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT BLACKPOOL MBC US-owned Handleman, a leading supplier and merchandiser of home entertainment products, is creating 400 new jobs in Bolton to support an expansion of its UK operations. The investment has been secured with support from NWDA and partners including Bolton Council. Canadian firm Organisation Metrics, which designs and sells software used in human resources management, is relocating its global head office to Liverpool City Centre, with help from the NWDA, the Merseyside Special Investment Fund, the Mersey Partnership and the DTI. The company is expected to employ 15 staff in its first year. Two prominent figures from business and the trade union movement have been reappointed to the Board of the NWDA for a further three years. They are Joe Dwek, former Chief Executive and Executive Chairman of Bodycote, and Dave McCall, Regional Secretary of the TGWU and Chair of the North West TUC. Rugged Logic, a new company that is set to revolutionise the way businesses predict cashflow, has received over half a million pounds from the Merseyside Special Investment Fund, the NWDA and Business Liverpool. It has relocated from London to Liverpool. Booths, the oldest family-owned and run grocery business in Britain, has been voted one of the world’s top 25 food heroes by an international academy of 2000 industry experts. The Northwest- based company achieved an impressive second place beating all its British competitors including Harrods and Fortnum and Masons. Following the announcement by government regarding the new licence fee settlement, the BBC Trust revealed that the move to Salford would be affordable and approved the continuation of contractual negotiations to deliver the project. The move is estimated to benefit the regional economy by £1.5 billion and will bring with it 1,500 jobs. NEWS 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 6 - 7 1 3 / 2 / 0 7 1 4 : 2 2 P a g e 1 7 sustainable communities.” The Pennine Lancashire approach builds on the idea of football grounds as a new form of ‘village hall’ to reach a target population of 150,000, nearly a third of whom have an ethnic minority background. Steve Hoyle, Assistant Director of Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen said a radically different approach was needed to draw deprived communities into the enterprise culture. “We looked at how we could use football to convey the enterprise message and talked to the three clubs who are already engaged in extensive outreach activities with the same audience we want to reach.” Football – the area was the birthplace of the professional game – is a strong theme of Pennine Lancashire’s ‘Ten Great Goals’ bid proposal which was endorsed by Blackburn’s Manager Mark Hughes. The other two Northwest LEGI winners have been equally imaginative in formulating programmes to change the lives and prospects of people living in England’s most deprived areas. MIGRANT ENTERPRISE Blackpool aims to launch an ‘Enterprise Island’ competition with the winners qualifying for ‘Dragons Den’ type guidance and support to set up their own businesses. The borough’s portfolio of projects includes an aviation and construction academy to train people from the town’s deprived wards for the estimated 500 new jobs that are likely to be created by the expansion of Blackpool International Airport. Alan Cavill, Head of Corporate Policy and Development, said that the town once had one of the highest business start-ups rates outside London. “There is still a high business formation rate but an even higher failure rate and one of our aims is to make sure people are better prepared for self employment.” Start-up support will also be directed at enterprise minded migrants in the town, mainly from Poland, to help them put down roots in the area and improve the local economy. Many of them currently work in the hospitality industry. Liverpool and Sefton’s programme (SLEGI) is built around 18 projects within four work streams – enterprise in young people, enterprise in adults, unlocking business potential and inward investment and franchising. The target area – six core neighbourhoods of North Liverpool – is characterised by high unemployment (in some parts 6 out of 10 people are on work-related benefits). Self-employment is also low in the area and business density is less than half of that of the UK. SLEGI seeks to capitalise on opportunities in the nearby port area, from the huge physical regeneration of central Liverpool, the housing market and from the visitor economy. Mike Taylor, Chief Executive of Business Liverpool and Chair of the SLEGI board, attributed the bid’s success to close collaboration between the two councils and a strong partnership with the private sector. “The core area is seriously lagging behind the recent resurgence of the Liverpool City Region economy and there is a real danger that continuing economic and social problems in these neighbourhoods will threaten growth across the sub region.” For further information: email: mark.booker@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100 www.neighbourhood.gov.uk ENTERPRISING COUNCILS BILLBOARD ICONS When mother of three Sharon Helsby and husband Kevin joined St. Helens Chamber’s Entrepreneur Kickstart project they had no idea they would end up starring as billboard icons. The couple launched their own exterior cleaning venture Eyesore Restore after attending a Chamber meeting about the advice and support available for business start-ups. They have since become role models in a major advertising campaign across the borough to promote Kickstart, a core element of St Helens’ £13.4 million LEGI programme which has been running since April 2006. “It was a big step to start our own business but we have never looked back. We really enjoy working together and it’s great for our children to see us making a go of it,” says Sharon. The Chamber is working on 11 projects to boost enterprise activity in the borough’s most deprived wards. They range from securing a business commitment for every school in the town to establishing a new-build graduate greenhouse for occupation by 2008. Aidan Manley, Head of Regeneration at St Helens MBC, said it was sensible to let the Chamber, one of the most successful in the region, deliver the programme because ”they speak the language of business and can provide the most appropriate answers for people starting up on their own.” Nearly 380 jobs have been created in the first six months (against a full year’s target of 450) and 149 new businesses established with 50 women becoming self-employed. Over 80 businesses have been connected to broadband and the support team is working with the University of Liverpool to set up a trading portal for the town. For further information: tel: 01744 742000 www.sthelenschamber.com Enterprise haven – Blackburn Rovers is one of three Pennine Lancashire clubs supporting the LEGI programme Big step – Sharon Helsby (left) and husband Kevin enjoy working together 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 6 - 7 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 5 : 3 5 P a g e 2 BUSINESS 8 AUTO INDUSTRY GEARS UPFOR A BETTER FUTURE Fine trim – finishing touches are applied to the craftsmen-built seats With its elegant looks and state-of-the-art engineering, the Bentley is a byword for quality, a prestige car lovingly designed and built in the Northwest for the last 60 years. Bentley is also one of the most famous names in automotive history, with a rich heritage and high standard of craftsmanship that comes with an exclusive price tag to match. Yet production staff at its Crewe factory are working flat out just to meet demand. In four years Bentley has seen annual sales soar from 1,000 to nearly 9,000, thanks to a family of five new models that include the sleek Continental GT, its larger four-door saloon version, a GT convertible and an upgrade of the top-of-the-range Arnage. Since it bought the company in 1998, VW has invested £500 million on factory infrastructure and developing new models. Class act – the Continental GT coupe is a recent addition to the Bentley marque This investment, says Christine Gaskill, Member of the Board – Personnel, has paid dividends, allowing the business to grow substantially. “Bentley is known around the world as a manufacturer of prestige motor cars,” she explains. “Its renaissance in recent years has turned its Crewe base into a largely autonomous centre for engineering excellence and fine craftsmanship which is highly regarded within the motor industry.” This emphasis on craftsmanship is epitomised by the fact that there are only two robots on the production line. Little surprise then that since VW acquired the cherished Bentley marque the workforce has swelled by 40%, to nearly 4,000. However Bentley is far from the only success story in a sector that is worth £9 billion a year to the regional economy. Leyland Trucks, part of the Paccar Group, are building over 14,000 vehicles a year at one of Europe's most advanced truck assembly facilities, while nearly 130,000 Astra cars and vans are produced annually at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port facility. Another important milestone in the region’s car industry was reached by Merseyside following the launch of the Freelander 2, which has started rolling off the production line at Ford’s Halewood plant, the first time a Land 3 1 5 - 1 1 0 P 8 - 9 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 3 9 P a g e 1 9 Rover has been produced outside of the West Midlands. When Ford acquired Jaguar in 2000 they invested over £400 million in Halewood, transforming the production line and introducing new ‘lean’ manufacturing processes. GLOBAL BENCHMARK As a result, over the last three years the plant has received the highest score in a worldwide manufacturing audit of all Ford-owned plants, setting a global benchmark for the company. Now a further multi-million pound investment means the Freelander is being produced alongside the Jaguar X-type, a move that has helped secure the long-term future of the factory and 2,400 jobs. One of the region’s most progressive automotive suppliers has demonstrated its world-class performance by winning one of the industry’s top accolades. Performance Springs of Lytham St Annes beat off strong competition to secure the first-ever Northwest Automotive Alliance ‘Company of the Year’ award at a ceremony held at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham. Based at the Queensway Industrial Estate where it employs over 40 people, the company is the UK’s leading innovator in the field of high performance spring technology. Judges singled out the firm’s determination to remain at the forefront of the sector through a combination of sustained investment in machinery and its workforce. “Our industry is extremely competitive and we have made sure we are in a position where we can win new business and continue our expansion into key markets,” explains Managing Director Steve Williams. SUPPLIER IS TOP PERFORMER “Halewood's transformation was one of the most ambitious ever undertaken in the automotive industry,” says Thomas Klein, the plant’s Operations Director. “Halewood is unique in having two different brands manufactured on the same production line and two vehicles of completely different architecture and no common component - it demonstrates Halewood's commitment to efficiency and flexibility." The key to all these successes, says Norman Williams, head of the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s (NWDA) Automotive Sector Team, has been the willingness of companies to invest in the skills of the workforce and in the concept of lean manufacturing. “These world-class manufacturers have taken a close look at their processes and implemented some outstanding initiatives around the principles of ‘lean’,” explains Williams. “It’s not the ‘dark art’ that many companies think - in the main it’s just a question of common sense.” The Northwest is the second most important automotive region in the UK, with over 500 companies employing some 43,000 people. As a result it’s become a base for some of the industry’s leading suppliers and Williams works closely with partners at the Department of Trade and Industry, the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), and Business Links, to ensure a co-ordinated programme of assistance for these companies too. This has enabled suppliers to address a range of issues including manufacturing processes, energy costs and inefficiencies in supply chains – all factors that, if left unchallenged, will affect the cost of manufacturing. The NWDA has further invested in the future of the sector by creating the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA), a cluster organisation, which champions engineering excellence and provides a focal point for the region's automotive sector. Its industry-led approach has helped more than a hundred companies improve performance, launch new products, win new orders, and upskill their workforce. Its Chairman, Stuart Heys, Managing Director of Leyland Trucks says the region has a deep- rooted tradition in automotives and is well positioned from an infrastructure point of view. “But more importantly, the Northwest has the right people to deliver a well co-ordinated and concise programme of assistance for companies with the foresight and the desire to stay ahead of the global game.” It’s not just the big multinationals that have overhauled their production processes. Accrington-based Piolax Manufacturing UK, which makes injection moulded components for the automotive industry has seen its productivity rise by 75% on the back of a visit by MAS’s industry-savvy practitioners. The MAS team highlighted high levels of ‘wasted’ effort and then set to work with the company on developing lean processing techniques which have since been rolled out across the assembly area. “The actual changes were quite simple and involved creating storage space for parts and improving product flow.” says Company Operations Director, Tony Dewhurst, “but the impact has been huge.” For further information: Northwest Automotive Alliance tel: 01772 425446 www.nwautoalliance.com Lean manufacturing – Jaguars and Freelanders roll off the same production line 3 1 5 - 1 1 0 P 8 - 9 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 3 9 P a g e 2 RDA PRIORITIES FOR GOVERNMENT SPENDING BUSINESS 10 Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) across the North are pressing the government to use the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) to refocus policy and investment to reinforce measures that will contribute to narrowing the £30 billion productivity gap between the North and London and the South East. Under the banner of The Northern Way, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Yorkshire Forward and One NorthEast have collectively submitted a set of far-reaching proposals to accelerate the drive for greater prosperity. They include incentives to encourage innovation, transport and connectivity improvements, measures to improve skill levels, and a Cabinet Committee for the North. All are designed to secure greater levels of private investment, particularly in pan-regional projects and housing. SPENDING PLANS The NWDA is also working with government to secure ongoing support for investment decisions such as the major BBC relocation to Manchester, the creation of a national nuclear laboratory with its HQ in the Northwest and the new University of Cumbria. It also makes a case for greater simplification of business support processes. The CSR will set government spending plans for three years from 2008-09. Whitehall departments have indicated that the pot of money for economic development is likely to decrease, with government having large commitments to meet in healthcare, education and overseas aid. A final outcome is not expected before the 2007 Budget. INNOVATION GAPS “We are in a tighter fiscal climate and the Treasury has indicated it will not entertain any bids for new money so we must not adopt a shopping list approach,” explained Patrick White, the NWDA’s Director of Policy who coordinated the Northern Way submission and is leading the CSR input from all nine RDAs. “We have to focus our efforts on persuading government to remove the barriers to economic growth that exist in the North and to support effective joint working at a local level. We have to maximise the resources we have and use them efficiently.” In its submission the influential partnership urges the government to focus on six priorities to build a prosperous North. Transport and innovation are seen to be the areas that can have the biggest impact on the combined regions’ future competitiveness. Ministers are being asked, for example, to support the establishment of a Northern Transport Development Fund to deliver “early win” projects. The government has also been asked to adopt a three-point plan to fill gaps in the North’s innovation ‘ecosystem’ by strengthening and developing the wider region’s international research capacity, stimulating business service innovation and building on knowledge economy locations such as Daresbury. The Northern Way is also suggesting that government should: • implement measures pioneered in the Northwest to improve skills and get more people on Incapacity Benefit back into work • strengthen devolution at all levels for planning and decision making especially in relation to City Regions • improve the quality and variety of housing. The three RDAs also believe that efficiency and accountability can be improved and strengthened by ensuring that key public sector targets are relevant to local and regional needs rather than just government departments by appointing a Cabinet Committee for the North or a Minister for the North. Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, said the CSR provided The Northern Way with an opportunity to advise government on the key investment locations in the North that will deliver the greatest return. “We want government to continue working with us to strengthen the North’s key knowledge locations by building on our assets and drawing on lessons which have been successfully applied elsewhere in Europe and the world.” For further information: email: patrick.white@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100 www.thenorthernway.co.uk 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 0 - 1 1 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 6 : 3 6 P a g e 1 The new streamlined service will replace the existing five Business Link operations with a new head office and contact centre in Preston – manned into the evening seven days a week – and a large number of business advisers located around the region. The changes are being introduced following a fundamental review of Business Link provision by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), which assumed full management of the service in April 2005. With an annual income of £18 million and a staff of 330, the new organisation, branded as Northwest Business Link, will operate as an impartial, independent brokerage service and will align itself with the internationally- competitive sectors and priorities outlined in the Northwest Regional Economic Strategy 2006. The sectors include biomedical, energy and environmental technologies, advanced engineering and materials, food and drink, digital and creative industries and professional and business services. The overall aim, says Managing Director Peter Watson, is to raise the profile and perception of Business Link and increase understanding of what it can do. “There is a great misunderstanding about what it can do and we now have a wonderful opportunity to clarify that,” he explains. “Restructuring will allow us to offer a robust and sustained level of service that is consistent throughout the region with one management team and one back-office function and it will also enable us to put more effort into the front-line part of the service.” Business enquiries will be routed through a ‘universal gateway’ based on the national Information Diagnosis Brokerage (IDB) model, with the contact centre handling all communications, phone, web and email. Self- diagnostic tools will be available on line. Another strand of the service will be the target brokerage, a proactive operation staffed by some 200 business advisors - called target brokers’ - co-located with sub-regional partnerships, the various cluster organisations and possibly on science parks. CLOSE MONITORING Watson stresses that “anyone can walk through the universal gateway from the school leaver wanting to go into self employment to the chairman of a company that has been operating for fifty years. Nobody will be turned away.” Northwest Business Link will not be delivering products and services but will quickly and seamlessly route requests for guidance and business support to the most appropriate provider. “We think the market is best able to deliver solutions,” says Watson who took up his duties in September to prepare the new service for launch on April 2, 2007. “We will be working with accredited suppliers and they will be subject to close monitoring according to customer satisfaction criteria.” Wholly owned by the NWDA with a private sector led-board, the new organisation will run on business-led principles with the aim of boosting business formation and making established companies more competitive. Peter Watson sees the ‘fit for purpose’ restructuring as a logical necessity. “We want to run ourselves as a lean business reflecting internally what we want to achieve in the wider business world.” He takes on the task of developing a slicker, more focused support service with a broad level of experience in the private sector, having worked in footwear manufacturing, the house building sector and the European and UK printing industry. For further information: email: peter.watson@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 644220 www.nwbl.co.uk (from April 2) BUSINESS SUPPORT REORGANISED Digital industries – another growth sector High fliers – aerospace is a target sector IT hub – a contact centre will handle all communications Business priority – support will be offered to biomedical companies “WE WANT TO RUN OURSELVES AS A LEAN BUSINESS REFLECTING INTERNALLY WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE WIDER BUSINESS WORLD.” PETER WATSON MANAGING DIRECTOR NORTHWEST BUSINESS LINK 11 A new revitalised Business Link service for the region, centrally managed but delivered locally, is to be launched in the spring with the aim of improving growth and competitiveness in key sectors of the Northwest economy. 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 0 - 1 1 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 6 : 3 6 P a g e 2 A new ultra-clean production facility that uses living organisms to develop tomorrow’s medicines has been officially opened in Speke, Liverpool, further strengthening the region’s world-class reputation for biopharmaceutical innovation. The National Biomanufacturing Centre (NBC) will help new and existing companies move good research ideas from the laboratory to the global marketplace within the right regulatory framework. Located on the Estuary Business Park, the centre has attracted major overseas interest and has been described as a “benchmark and showcase for British science,” by Dr Crawford Brown, Chief Executive of Eden Biodesign, the NBC’s commercial operator. Funding for the £34 million project, which has been hailed as the first of its kind in the world, has been provided by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the EU’s Objective One programme and the Department of Trade and Industry. Some of industry’s big corporate players including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Avecia have provided helpful advice on setting up the facility. Although biologics, which includes biopharmaceuticals and vaccines, have been around for 25 years it’s only recently they BIOCENTRE TO DEVELOP NEW MEDICINES BUSINESS 12 have become viable as commercial products. They currently account for 17% (50 billion dollars) of the medicines market but industry experts predict their share could rise to 70% in the future. MISSING LINK Chemical compounds are used to make drugs in traditional pharmaceutical manufacture whereas the NBC’s processes use living cells – mammalian, viral and microbial-like mini factories to make biologic products. The centre provides a full range of services necessary to take a novel biopharmaceutical from proof of concept through to small batch production for early–stage clinical trials. Its client focus will be small and medium size companies (SMEs), research and charity organisations, the universities and the NHS. The NBC was borne out of an idea in the late 1990s by Professor Julian Crampton, a former Liverpool academic, and has been brought to fruition largely through the dedication and drive of Dr. Linda Magee, Head of Bionow, the Northwest Biotechnology cluster organisation established by the NWDA. Her contribution won widespread praise at the opening ceremony. She describes the centre as the “missing link” that should speed up the lab-to-market process. “It’s a beacon for the wider 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 2 - 1 3 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 5 5 P a g e 1 Medical researcher Dr Stephen Richardson of the University of Manchester has developed a treatment for lower back pain using the patient’s own stem cells which could replace the use of strong painkillers or surgery. Pre-clinical trials are due to start in 2007 and are expected to rapidly yield a marketable product. The breakthrough, achieved with the collaboration of a German biotechnology company and renowned spinal surgeons, promises huge cost savings for the NHS. Dr Richardson’s work earned him the accolade of ‘Northwest Young Biotechnologist of the Year’ at the 2006 Northwest Biotechnology Awards, organised by Bionow, the NWDA regional support group. The awards, which are supported by commercial sponsors, including AstraZeneca, Avecia, Nature Publications, Pannones and Addleshaw Goddard showcase the very best of biotechnology in region. Three other award winners also have strong links with the University of Manchester. They include Professor Mark Ferguson, 51, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Renovo, who was named as the ‘Bionow Personality of the Year.’ ACADEMIC SPIN OUT Renovo aims to be the first to market with a pharmaceutical drug to prevent and reduce scarring. Many of the new discovery companies springing up across the region have their roots in academia. Myconostica, the ‘Biotechnology Start Up of the Year’ is a spin out from Manchester University specialising in fast and very sensitive molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening respiratory fungal infections. Dr. Chris Ward of the university’s School of Dentistry won the ‘Bioprocessing Project of the Year’ award for his work to develop a novel method of preventing human embryonic stem cells from forming into different types of cell. Farfield Scientific of Crewe, which uses optical measurement technology to manufacture instruments for use in drug discovery and the mechanisms behind diseases, was named as ‘Biotechnology Company of the Year’. Farfield employs 21 and exports 60-70% of its products. The award of ‘Biotechnology Project of the Year’ went to Manchester-based DxS for ‘Therascreen’, an innovative genetic analysis product to identify patients who will respond well to certain cancer drug therapies. AWARDS FOR BIO HEROES 13 pharmaceutical community in the region and we expect it to have an influential role in attracting inward investment to the Northwest.” An Access Fund of just under £3 million has been established to support the work of the NBC and is already assisting SMEs purchase services from Eden Biodesign. Grants of up to £70,000 are available for eligible companies with higher allocations for those located in Merseyside. One recipient company, Onyvax, has started work on an ovarian cancer vaccine while a second successful applicant, Aquapharm, is using the NBC’s expertise to develop products from marine sources. The NBC will enhance Liverpool’s drive to become one of Europe’s premier biopharmaceutical centres. Around 2,000 people are currently employed in the sector in south Liverpool, the highest concentration anywhere in the EU. EXEMPLAR PROJECT Opening the state-of-the-art building, NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray, a former chemistry graduate, called it one of the first “building blocks” in an emerging industry. “It’s an exemplar project of co-operation between the public and private sectors”. Apart from offering advice and guidance to early-stage companies about moving from research into development, Eden Biodesign aims to expand training opportunities with a view to doubling its workforce to 100 over the next two years. It is joining forces with Liverpool John Moores University to establish a Bioprocess Summer School in 2007 to resolve some of the skills deficiencies in the sector. The partners hope to move towards an apprenticeship in Bioprocessing that can be rolled out across the UK. For further information: email: linda.magee@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100 www.bionow.co.uk Centre of excellence – technicians work in an ultra-clean environment Professor Mark Ferguson – Bionow Personality of the Year State of the art – the National Biomanufacturing Centre is a showcase for British science 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 2 - 1 3 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 5 5 P a g e 2 That was in 2003 when Nik, from Newcastle on Tyne, joined Mocha, a multi-media production company established by two earlier LJMU graduates. “There were only two or three of us from my course who stayed in Liverpool,” says the designer and animator who completed a summer placement with Mocha before his final year. “A few wanted to try for London but it’s a difficult time when you finish university. If people don’t find a job fairly quickly, many move back home with their parents and start from there.” This is one of the drivers behind Liverpool’s new Culture Campus, officially launched this month, which aims to “inspire, support and enable” the city’s top quality graduates to stay in the area to develop its cultural sector and wider creative economy. Initially funded with £75,000 of European Objective One funding and £33,000 from both Liverpool University and LJMU, the Campus also sets out to help SME development in the cultural and creative industries sector. At a time when public policy experts are acknowledging the value of ‘creativity’ in the competition to stay ahead in the global economy, the highly-specialist web-based Campus aims to add a new dimension to the city’s cultural success. Supported by the city’s Tate, Biennial and FACT, the Campus plans to assist their growth and development through the provision of new talent. “The new Campus wants to ensure that Liverpool is the place to be for graduates and post-graduates who want to build a career in the creative industries,” says Liz Lacey, Director of Culture Campus. “Many students made the decision to come to Liverpool because of next year’s (2008) European Capital of Culture and have expectations of making a career here. We want to improve the chances of them staying in the city – as well as supporting SMEs in the same sector to develop and attract new talent.” Concentrating initially on the visual arts, it plans to broaden its scope to include music and other art forms, with the support of Liverpool’s Everyman/Playhouse theatres, the Philharmonic, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum. Two early practical projects will involve setting up a ‘dating agency’ to link students with work experience providers and a system of bursaries and seedcorn funding to enable organisations moving in to the city to support and invest in the cultural sectors. Professor Jennifer Latto, the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s Higher Education (HE) Adviser and a member of the Culture Campus Board, explains the thinking behind the project. “The idea is to link together all the work going on in Higher Education and in the arts organisations in Liverpool so Culture Campus becomes the first port of call for anyone who wants to set up projects and find particular expertise and appropriately trained staff in the very specialist cultural and creative industries.” LMJU, which has announced plans for the Northwest’s first Screen School, will build on cultural education provision in the city by introducing two new masters’ programmes – New Media Curating and Cultural Leadership – in September 2007. For further information: email: jennifer.latto@nwda.co.uk tel: 01925 400100 CULTURE CAMPUS LINK TO CREATIVE CAREERS 14 When multi-media arts student Nik Bowler graduated from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), he was one of only a handful of his contemporaries to stay and work in the city. Arts hub – FACT has pledged support for Culture Campus SKILLS AND EDUCATION Scientists, engineers and mathematicians at the University of Manchester have been given a new type of research environment with the opening of the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (MIB). The £38 million facility will enable up to 80 research groups to apply novel approaches to finding new therapies for diseases such as cancer, meningitis and cystic fibrosis. Princes Park in Liverpool and Birkenhead on the Wirral are the latest areas to benefit from Northern Way initiatives to drive down the number of people claiming Incapacity Benefit in the North. The project, which will build on a successful scheme in Knowsley, will target 3,000 claimants in the new areas. Macclesfield entered a new era of high quality education provision with the official opening of the European Centre for Aerospace Training (ECAT), the first building to be completed on the town’s £38 million Learning Zone development, which is receiving £5 million funding from the NWDA. Bolton Technical Innovation Centre (TIC), the UK’s first ‘Junior Incubator’, has been officially opened by the Princess Royal. Developed with the support of the NWDA, the TIC has been created to nurture innovation and enterprise among young people in Northwest schools. It is the first of its kind in the UK. Manchester Metropolitan University is set to expand its successful New Entrepreneurship Scholarship scheme after its Centre for Enterprise won £1.2 million of additional funding. It will enable up to 400 people in local communities to attend three-month courses to learn how to convert their business ideas into reality. Professor John Wilson, a qualified accountant, has joined the University of Salford as Head of the new Salford Business School, which was formed in August from four existing Schools. He has previously worked at the University of Teesside, Liverpool John Moores University and Lancashire County Council. NEWS 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 4 - 1 5 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 5 9 P a g e 1 15 Pathfinder, a new skills project aimed at developing higher education tailored to employers’ needs, is giving the Northwest “another chance to stand out” for its range of training opportunities. The region has been chosen by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as one of three areas to pilot the £4 million initiative. This now means that Northwest employers can access skills training for their workforce via a brokerage service ranging from basic literacy and numeracy right through to top level post-graduate learning. Dr Celia Brigg, Project Manager and Assistant Director (Skills) of the North West Universities Association (NWUA) which is leading Pathfinder, says: “The Northwest is now the only UK region to have the full range of training offered by the Learning and Skills Council and Higher Education – from Train to Gain through to the higher level skills.” Supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Pathfinder will develop a database of existing HE provision to identify gaps, and a brokerage system using existing regional brokers, who have been trained in HE. The NWUA has already started work on intelligence gathering to establish the higher level skills needs in four sectors: advanced engineering and materials, construction, digital and creative industries and business and professional services. Dr Brigg says: “We understand there is a need for specific technical skills and management and leadership qualifications which are not merely generic, but specific to particular sectors.” SPECIALISED COURSES She says that in line with government policy, Pathfinder will attempt to achieve a step-change in the HE sector, encouraging universities to deliver some courses more flexibly, including on employers’ sites, supported by online learning. The region’s universities are already responding to employer skills needs by introducing specialised degree courses, often with input from business and industry. Salford, for example, received help from Adidas, Umbro and Reebok in shaping the content of a sport equipment design course. A dramatic growth in digital marketing spend has prompted Manchester Metropolitan University Business School to launch a BA (Hons) degree in Digital Marketing and Communications, again with support from industry practitioners. NUCLEAR ENGINEERING Lancaster has become one of the first universities to launch a degree course (MSc) in Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-Up, a move that should help small and medium size firms in Cumbria exploit the opportunities created by the £70 billion clean- up process. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is lending its support by funding a number of post-graduate scholarships for part-time industry-based students, recognition of Lancaster’s excellence in nuclear engineering. The course will be delivered in partnership with the Westlakes Research Institute in Cumbria. The Pathfinder initiative comes at a time when the government is driving forward its ten-year strategy for science and innovation and emphasising the need for closer links between HE and employers. For further information: email: cbrigg@nwua.ac.uk tel: 0161 234 8880 www.nwua.ac.uk “THE NORTHWEST IS NOW THE ONLY UK REGION TO HAVE THE FULL RANGE OF TRAINING OFFERED BY THE LEARNING AND SKILLS COUNCIL AND HIGHER EDUCATION.” DR CELIA BRIGG PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (SKILLS) NWUA UNIVERSITY DRIVE TO HELP INDUSTRY Ice cool – Salford Design student Graham Patrick with prototype equipment for the new sport, Xtreme Ice. Owzat – coaching aid for cricket 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 4 - 1 5 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 5 9 P a g e 2 Infrastructure to support the development of a business park on Edge Lane in Merseyside is set to create 150 temporary construction jobs. The development of the site, which received £4.6 million from the NWDA, is ultimately expected to generate around 1,000 jobs with the attraction of science and technology based companies to the region. Carlisle is moving ahead with the first phase of an ambitious renaissance strategy after being given £1 million of kickstart funding from the NWDA to encourage business investment and develop the city’s tourism potential. Local residents are being invited to help shape the future of the former Bickershaw Colliery site in Leigh. English Partnerships has announced funding of nearly £17 million to develop a country park which will complement an approved new NWDA-led neighbourhood scheme around the canal basin on the southern part of the site. Construction has started on a new £3.5 million development to bring flexible, short term business space to Ellesmere Port. Grant-assisted by the NWDA, the Evans Business Centre on the Pioneer Business Park, Ellesmere Port, will provide start-ups and small businesses with 23 offices and 18 workshops. BakeMark UK, the country’s largest producer of bakery ingredients and frozen bakery products is expanding production capacity workforce at its Bromborough manufacturing facility after being offered a package of aid from the NWDA and partners. The investment will create 20 new jobs and prevent production being transferred overseas. Measures to introduce more flexible working across the region are being championed following the establishment of the Northwest Flexible Working Group. Public and private sector-led, the group will be charged with delivering a strategy which aims to benefit both employers and employees throughout the Northwest. NEWS 16 PEOPLE AND JOBS In the six years since the urban regeneration company (URC) New East Manchester (NEM) set about rejuvenating the city’s old industrial heartland, over £800 million of public and private money has been invested in the area triggering a transformation as impressive as the city centre renaissance. Projects are underway in 15 of the 17 target neighbourhoods with 3,400 new homes completed and another 6,000 in the pipeline. Over 3,000 jobs have been created or safeguarded and local schools are driving up educational standards. The holistic regeneration of a complex area of 1,900 hectares in size – five times as large as the city centre – has earned high praise from Professor Michael Parkinson, an international authority on cities, in a mid-term evaluation of NEM activities, “The success of New East Manchester tells us a lot about how we should manage our hard-pressed urban areas in future. This is not only a fine example of best practice but raises the bar for urban regeneration,” he observes. NEM is a partnership venture between Manchester City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and English Partnerships. It was established in 2000 with an initial 10-year lifespan although the city council has always regarded East Manchester as a 20-year project. SUSTAINED COMMITMENT The NWDA has pledged to invest £120 million in the area’s renaissance of which £70 million has been spent. The overall cost of bringing economic and social stability to the area is estimated at over £2 billion. Tom Russell, NEM’s Chief Executive, says the message from the evaluation report was that good progress had been made on the delivery of physical change and “normalising” the area’s economic profile but recovery was fragile and still needed sustained commitment from public sector partners. “One of the threats we face is complacency. We are pleased with the progress made but know it is still too early to regard the job as done. It can easily slide back to its former state.” In his detailed report, Professor Parkinson highlighted the huge challenges facing NEM when it began to bring the branding concept of “the new town in the city” to reality. The old metal-bashing area had lost 60% of its employment between 1975-85, and the housing market had collapsed. It also had a high unemployment rate with 52% of people on benefit, high crime, poor health, inadequate transport links and a low skills base. Building on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, which has left the area with a world-class sporting infrastructure, the URC and its partners have scored a string of notable commercial and community successes. One “incredibly important” milestone, according to Russell, was securing a major investment by Fujitsu in a new UK HQ on the flagship Central Park. “It’s given the area a modern IT employment profile and the more of these investments we It used to be an area of empty factories, abandoned homes, high benefits dependency and few opportunities. Today East Manchester is a brave new world of well-designed housing, world-class sporting facilities, rising educational aspirations and soon home to the UK’s first regional casino. CONFIDENCE RISING IN EAST MANCHESTER 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 6 - 1 7 7 / 2 / 0 7 1 7 : 1 3 P a g e 1 17 get the more East Manchester will be seen as a good location for modern businesses”. The 182-hectare (450 acres) business park is already geared up for the arrival of Metrolink (in 2010-11) following completion of a £36 million Gateway transport interchange. Ask: Akeler Developments has completed 275,000 sq ft (25,547 sq m) of new office space out of a projected 1.4 million sq ft (130,000 sq m) and has begun work on a further 43,350 sq ft (4,027 sq m) of speculative space. East Manchester is a richly patterned canvas of physical, economic and social renewal with dozens of projects completed, at the construction stage or in the planning pipeline. They range from new shopping centres, new schools and health facilities to major new housing schemes and an innovative use of heritage assets, such as Ancoats, the Ashton Canal and Gorton Monastery. NEM has gone for very strong architectural statements - functional rather than iconic - to change the perception of east Manchester. House builders are being urged to raise their design standards to provide a different but better type of housing than that found elsewhere. IMPROVED SCHOOLS Lovell and Gleason, the two main house builders in Beswick, one of the early renewal projects, are now selling new homes for up to £250,000. Over 9,000 new homes across the area have been completed or are in various stages of construction or refurbishment. Two thirds of buyers are believed to be from across the city region or elsewhere. Education is another measure of progress with attainment levels moving up to be on a par with the Manchester average compared to 10% below in 2000. Two of the area’s primary schools were among the top five most improved schools in the country. Russell is confident the public and private sectors are on track to deliver investment worth more than £2 billion over the next 10-20 years. In its recommendation to government, the Casino Advisory Panel based its decision to award the regional casino licence to East Manchester on the area's "great promise" as a test bed for social impact and regeneration need. If approved by government, the decision could give the go-ahead for over £265 million investment in a major leisure and entertainment development, creating 2,700 jobs and a range of community facilities. “Our success will be measured in our redundancy,” says Russell, “The sooner we can withdraw and let the private sector and market forces take the reins the happier we shall be.” For further information: www.neweastmanchester.com CONTRIBUTING TO SUCCESS New East Manchester is adding value to the overall economic success of the city, according to Professor Michael Parkinson’s interim evaluation of the URC’s performance. Achievements in the period up to March 2006 include: Jobs – the area is outperforming national and regional trends on job growth rates with 3131 jobs created against a lifetime target of 10,000; NEM is performing well on safeguarding jobs reaching 82% of its target. Land – NEM has serviced 75% of the land identified in its lifetime targets; it has also achieved more than half its target for new or upgraded floor space. Housing – over 3,400 homes have been completed and there are up to a further 15,000 anticipated new builds. At this rate NEM should reach its original target of 12,500 new homes by 2010. Morale – satisfaction levels among residents is rising; in the Beacons New Deal for Communities area 60% of residents thought their neighbourhood was getting better in 2005 compared to 17% in 1999. State-of-the-art venue – Visualisation of the casino development at East Manchester “VITAL INVESTMENT LIKE THIS IS DESPERATELY NEEDED TO GUARANTEE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR EAST MANCHESTER. WE KNOW A REGIONAL CASINO WILL DELIVER ENORMOUS REGENERATION BENEFITS.” TOM RUSSELL CHIEF EXECUTIVE NEW EAST MANCHESTER 3 1 5 - 1 1 P 1 6 - 1 7 9 / 2 / 0 7 1 0 : 2 8 P a g e 2 18 Rising private sector confidence in Liverpool’s ability to become a prosperous, competitive city-region is helping to transform its retail and commercial office core, sparking a building boom without parallel in the last half century. Cranes crowd the skyline as developers, construction companies, fund managers and public agencies step up the £2.5 billion physical and economic regeneration of the waterfront and central business and shopping districts. Take-up levels in the city centre office market in 2005 reached a record high of nearly 500,000 sq ft (46,451 sq m), an increasing proportion of which is new-build. Rentals have also risen from £14 to £20 per sq ft over the past five years and investor demand has driven capital growth faster than any other provincial city. “On the basis of headline rents and yields, the capital value of new office space has doubled in that period,” enthuses Jim Gill, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, the Urban Regeneration Company (URC) charged with coordinating the city ce


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