- What We Do
- Future North West (formerly Regional Strategy (RS2010))
- Regional Planning
- Regional Housing
- Regional Transport
- Economic Development
- How We Do It
- Equality & Diversity
Future North West: Our Shared Priorities Evidence Base
Building the Regional Strategy evidence base has been essential to the development of Future North West. The work on this has been led by the Research and Intelligence Unit (RIU). Details of the different elements can be found below:
- Summary of the evidence base
- Evidence papers
- Independent Peer Review
- Future Scenarios
- Independent Think Piece by SQW Consulting
- State of the Region
- Regional Economic Forecasting
- Places Research
- Initial Technical work on Housing Provision and Job Growth Figures for the North West
This report summarises the evidence collected to date for the development of the Regional Strategy (RS2010) / Future North West. It looks through the lenses of the pillars of sustainable economic development by exploring the Northwest's economy, environment, society and wellbeing as the high level themes, and how these pillars play out spatially within the region.
An updated summary report will be published alongside the final version of Future North West in late 2010.
Following the consultation process in Autumn 2008, the Regional Strategy Evidence Papers were updated throughout the year in consultation with policy and research experts within the region and nationally.
The purpose of the first draft evidence papers was to stimulate debate and discussion in developing the approach to formulating a new regional strategy. It is important to emphasise that these papers do not constitute the full evidence base and the wider evidence base of partners has also contributed. Please click on the links below to download the papers:-
- Culture, Image and Heritage
- Economic Performance
- Health and Wellbeing
- International Competitiveness
- Local Employment
- Population Change
- Quality of Life
- Science and R&D
- Skills: Ensuring commitment to skills
- Skills: Raising the aspirations
- Skills: Stimulating investment into the workforce
- Sustainable Consumption and Production
In autumn 2009, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and 4NW -the Regional Leaders Board, commissioned CLES Consulting to manage an independent Peer Review Panel (of leading academics, economic development, planning and environmental professionals and policy practitioners) to review the region's evidence base that would inform the Regional Strategy. This important review scrutinised the evidence base to test the following:
- The methodologies and processes associated with the evidence base
- The robustness of interpretation of the research and intelligence
- Coverage and use of appropriate and best available sources and data
The review focussed upon areas of the evidence base, reported on good practice and also where the greatest value can be added to current processes. It covered the following:
- the process of compiling the evidence base, with reference to the consultation and joint development, and the ways in which it is being used to drive evidence based policy;
- potential data sources, analysis and gaps in the evidence base ensuring it provides sufficient insight for the purposes of both RS2010 and future evolution of the regions evidence base;
- evidence issues involving significant controversy or conflict, for example, internal data inconsistencies and recommending actions to reconcile differences and identifying existing good practice;
- areas where insufficient consideration has been given to ensuring a balanced and evidential view of environmental, social and economic aspirations.
The interim report was published setting out the findings and recommendations of the Peer Review and providing background to the reader on activities that were reviewed by the expert panel.
NWDA and 4NW officers welcomed the recommendations contained in the report and began work on taking these forward as set out here with priority given to the short and medium term actions. Subsequently in early 2010 CLES were asked to review the implementation of these recommendations and report back as set out here.
One of the key recommendations from the Independent Peer Review was to make more transparent the link between evidence and policy. The RIU have produced this methodology paper which formally addresses this recommendation.
Scenario planning is a way of discussing complex future issues in a clear and structured way, to identify and prioritise risks and opportunities. Scenarios are just tools that we have used to help people think about the different possibilities in the future. We have used the scenarios as tools in workshops to challenge the emerging regional strategy - they were not an outcome in themselves. A Northwest Futures 2030: Interim Scenarios Report has been published.
Alongside the publication of the Principles and Issues Paper, we published the supporting analysis - an independent Think Piece by SQW Consulting. This presented an analysis of themes relevant to the development of the Regional Strategy, and explored how these themes shape and are shaped by - the character of particular places in the North West.
The State of the Region Report was published in April 2009 and was a culmination of work that has been carried out by the Research and Intelligence Unit (RIU) throughout 2008. It draws together work carried out within the 2007/08 Research Programme, the drafting of the Regional Strategy Evidence Papers and the constant data and intelligence monitoring work the team does.
The purpose of the report was to provide a summary of the knowledge we pulled together to start to inform the Regional Strategy, it is a guide to what has informed the regional debate, and has informed the development of Future North West.
The long term 2009 report of the Regional Economic forecasting panel provided the baseline forecast for the region and provided a direct input to the development of the Regional Strategy / Future North West. In the past a number of different forecasts had been used in the strategies and this has led to inconsistencies and a degree of confusion. Without sacrificing any of its independence, the Panel agreed to produce a single set of forecasts to underpin the Regional Strategy. In doing so, it has drawn for the first time on the work of not just one forecasting house but three, before making its own judgements on the most likely long-term outcome for the region. This base forecast for the North West as a whole is an essential prerequisite to the subsequent discussions on the aspirations of the region and its five sub-regions. The report was updated in March 2010.
To download the reports and for further information please visit the Regional Economic Forecasting Panel pages.
The RIU undertook work to examine places and their potential as part of developing our economic understanding of the region to inform the development of the Regional Strategy. The work analysed the potential for growth at a North West local authority level and this built up to functional geographies by examining interactions between places. One of the main purposes of this work was to help to assess the role played by place in shaping and influencing the economy of the North West and to provide a better understanding of the functional economic geography of the region.
In Spring 2010, 4NW undertook some initial technical work to inform the development of housing provision and job growth figures for the North West for the period to 2030. A paper (and accompanying spreadsheet) has been published which sets out a number of different scenarios (and explanation of the methodology used to develop each scenario) which provide a starting point to assist Local Authorities to undertake further work and discussion as part of their work to determine at a local level the housing provision numbers and allocation in their Local Development Frameworks.
A summary of the different scenarios, distribution approaches and outputs for the region as a whole, and for sub-regional geographies, are set out in the paper. The information set out in this paper was presented to local authority officers and other partners at a series of sub-regional workshops in May 2010 and the feedback received is set out in the paper.
The work of the Research and Intelligence Unit as outlined above has built upon work by Partners Evidence which forms a comprehensive programme of research into important topics, the main conclusions of which has also fed into the Evidence Papers.
In addition to work done by partners in the region the RIU also runs the Regional Research Programme. The programme of research is categorised according to the following themes: Economic, Society, Skills and Environment.