Research and Intelligence

Future North West Evidence Base

This work has been led by the Research and Intelligence Unit and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the production of the comprehensive evidence base. This was produced originally for RS2010 but has subsequently been used to underpin the development of Future North West: Our Shared Priorities.

Details of the different elements can be found below:

Evidence papers
Summary of the evidence base
Independent Peer Review
Evidence to Policy Methodology
Future Scenarios
Regional Economic Forecasting
Places Research
Sustainability Appraisal of Future North West
SQW Independent Think Piece
Initial Technical Work on Housing Providsion and Job Growth Figures for the Northwest
Partner Evidence

Evidence Papers

The evidence contained in these papers has been developed by the Research and Intelligence Unit (RIU), in conjunction with stakeholders from across the region over the past 2 years.

Going forward the papers are intended to assist sub-national and local decision making in preparing strategy and policy. The data contained within these papers is primarily regional and sub-regional, however, much of the analysis has been carried out at local authority level. The original data for all reports including any bespoke analysis required is available on request.

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

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Summary of the Evidence Base RS2010 – Assets, opportunities and issues
This Report summarises the evidence collected for the development of Future North West. It looks through the lenses of the pillars of sustainable economic development by exploring the North West’s economy, environment, society and wellbeing as the high level themes, and how these pillars play out spatially within the region.

Prior to this report the State of the Region Report was published in April 2009 which was a culmination of work that has been carried out by the Research & Intelligence (RIU) throughout 2008. It draws together work carried out within the 2007/08 Research Programme, drafting of the Regional Strategy Evidence Papers and the constant data and intelligence monitoring work the team does.

Independent Peer Review of the Evidence Base

Starting in the Autumn of 2009, the NWDA and 4NW 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 to inform the Regional Strategy 2010 (RS2010).  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

For more information please visit the Independent Peer Review of the RS2010 Evidence Base page.

Evidence to Policy Methodology

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.

Future Scenarios
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 use to help people think about the different possibilities in the future. We will use the scenarios as tools in workshops to challenge the regional strategy – they are not an outcome in themselves. A Northwest Futures 2030: Interim Scenarios Report has been published.

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Regional Economic Forecasting

The long term 2009 report of the Regional Economic Forecasting Panel provides the baseline forecast for the region and is intended to provide a direct input to the North West’s new Regional Strategy, RS2010. In the past a number of different forecasts have 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 Northwest’s new Regional Strategy (RS2010). 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 Northwest as a whole is an essential prerequisite to the subsequent discussions on the aspirations of the region and its five sub-regions. To download the report and for further information please visit the Regional Economic Forecasting Panel page.

Places Research
The RIU has undertaken work to examine places and their potential as part of developing our economic understanding of the region and preparing the evidence base for the development of a regional strategy. The work analyses the potential for growth at North West local authority level and building this up to functional geographies by examining interactions between places. One of the main purposes of this work is to help to assess the role played by place in shaping and influencing the economy of the Northwest and give a better understanding of the functional economic geography of the region.

Sustainability Appraisal of Future North West
The RS2010 was subject to a comprehensive Sustainability Appraisal to ensure that it fully integrated social, environmental and economic considerations. Scott Wilson were appointed to undertake the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of the new Regional Strategy which has subsequently been used to appraise Future North West.

Independent Think Piece by SQW
Alongside the publication of the Principles and Issues Paper, we published the supporting analysis, an independent Think Piece by SQW Consulting. This independent Think Piece presented an analysis of themes relevant to the development of the RS2010, and explores how those themes shape - and are shaped by - the character of particular places in the Northwest.

Initial Technical Work on Housing Provision and Job Growth Figures for the Northwest

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 was 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. Further information is available here.

Parter Evidence

As part of the process, a list of research undertaken by Partners was also collated

In addition work undertaken through the RIU Research Programme fed into the Evidence Papers.

Further information on Future North West is avaiable from the 4NW website.

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