Yorkshire Forward

Infobox public organisation

logo_colour= FFFFFF
full_name= Yorkshire Forward
territory= Yorkshire and the Humber
status= Regional development agency
appointment= Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
leadership= Appointed board
founded= 1999
budget= £354m [Yorkshire Forward - [http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/asset_store/document/yf_r&a_161910.pdf Report and Accounts 2006/07] ]
budget_year= 2006/07
homepage= http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/

Yorkshire Forward is the regional development agency and Non-Departmental Public Body for the Yorkshire and the Humber region of the United Kingdom. [ [http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/www/index.asp Home - Yorkshire Forward ] ] It supports the expansion and development of business in the region by encouraging public and private investment, and by connecting people to economic opportunity. It works to improve levels of education, learning and skills, and to enhance the region's environment and infrastructure.

Regional Economic Strategy

Each of England's 9 RDA's is required to work with partners in the region to draw together a [http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/asset_store/document/res_summary_06_15024.pdf Regional Economic Strategy] . This document sets out for the whole region how the RDAs statutory objectives would be met and the region developed. These strategies are owned by the whole region, not just the RDA. They provide the context for other economic development and regeneration activity in the region and provide Departments with a framework that sets out the direction that policies in that region should support. These are reflected in the regional emphasis documents that each region prepared for the Spending Review. These have enabled Departments to consider the impacts that their policies will have in the regions over the next spending period.

The Yorkshire economy

This region has a high rate of economic growth in the UK and one that has outstripped the European average for 5 years running Fact|date=February 2007. The GDP of over £75 billion is large enough to rank it in the top 20% of the world’s national economies and represents 8% of total UK output. The region is open to investment and opportunities a new global economy will bring. With of continued economic prosperity, the growth has outstripped European averages for the last five years.

Businesses in Yorkshire benefit from operating costs up to 20% lower than the UK average, a competitive property market and average salaries 7% below the national average Fact|date=February 2007. There is a strong, stable economy and commitment to world trade. Qualities like a strong skill base, the transport network, and a fast growing economy have helped turn this region into a worthwhile investment opportunities. There are low operating costs and access to significant levels of UK and European financial incentives, which coupled with the UK’s low tax economy, means Yorkshire and the Humber can offer distinct and advantageous financial incentives. Some 1200 foreign owned companies have already based their operations here Fact|date=February 2007.

Yorkshire Forward's performance & planning

2005/06 performance

Figures released in 2006 by the [http://www.dti.gov.uk Department of Trade and Industry] (DTI) show that for every 1% of budget spent, Yorkshire Forward created 12 businesses and it cost the agency 19% less than the rest of England's RDAs to create a job and 12% less to reclaim and make fit for development a hectare of land. These figures also reveal that Yorkshire Forward met all its annual DTI targets to grow the region's businesses, help people into jobs, and bring investment into Yorkshire and the Humber in 2005/06.

The agency has supported the creation of more than 1,000 businesses, helped nearly 31,000 companies to improve their performance, and brokered research and development opportunities for another 250 businesses Fact|date=February 2007. It has helped create or protect 23,810 jobs, assisted 2,588 people to get a job, backed 58,607 people in their skills development, and helped 316 people to gain basic skills and 1,587 to achieve NVQ level 2 Fact|date=February 2007.

Corporate Plan 2005-10

This [http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/asset_store/document/corporate_plan_2005-10_full_135212.pdf Corporate Plan] sets out Yorkshire Forward’s overall direction and priorities for the five-year period. It defines our corporate objectives and core business, while also setting out the Investment Planning process that will be used to deliver the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). The document describes how Yorkshire Forward will use the funds and support it receives to make the region a better place to live, work and invest. The document also helps synchronise the agencies planning and funding horizons with the Government Spending Review process.

Cluster strategy

Yorkshire and the Humber is at the forefront of the cluster theory of economic development, actively investing in key business sectors to accelerate economic growth and encourage higher value added business.

A cluster is a group of organisations in related industries that are linked together because they buy or sell from each other or because they use the same infrastructure, customers or skills base.

A cluster is much more than an industry sector. Clusters encompass a broad range of organisations linked by a common element. For example, a ‘Food and Drink’ cluster would include food producing companies, logistics and freight providers, financiers, research institutions, distributors etc. It would be made up of every part of the chain from raw ingredients to packaging designers and retailers.

Companies who are part of an active cluster have been shown to be more competitive and profitable. They benefit from the following advantages:

  • An infrastructure designed to meet specific business needs
  • Greater access to specialised information such as research and development and best practice ideas
  • Increased availability of financial and legal services who are well equipped to deal with the needs of their business
  • Better access to employees and suppliers who are attracted to the region by the concentration of jobs, customers and range of employers
  • Increased motivation and innovation as competition is created within the cluster by the proximity of businesses in the same sectors.
  • These advantages will result in higher rates of innovation, more new business formation, greater productivity and a generally stronger regional economy.
  • Yorkshire Forward has identified seven key clusters that have the potential to deliver significant economic growth in the future. They are:

  • Advanced Engineering and Metals
  • Bioscience
  • Chemicals
  • Digital Industries
  • Food and Drink
  • Healthcare Technologies
  • Environmental Technologies
  • "Yorkshire Alive with Opportunity!"

    "Yorkshire Alive with Opportunity!" represents a new 'one voice' approach to a region that is as successful and dynamic as it is diverse.


    External links

    * [http://www.yorkshire-forward.com Yorkshire Forward website]
    * [http://www.goyh.gov.uk Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber]
    * [http://www.yhassembly.gov.uk Yorkshire and the Humber Assembly]

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