2 April, 2009
England's nine Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have made a significant impact on the country's economy over the past five years, according to an independent report published by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).
Undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the “Impact of RDA Spending” report shows that between 2002-03 and 2006-07, for every £1 spent by the RDAs, an average of £4.50 of economic output (or Gross Value Added – GVA) was put back into the regional economies. This means that the RDAs have quadrupled their £5.1bn of evaluated expenditure during this time, with an overall return on investment of over £23 billion.
As part of the report, 65 programmes and projects led by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) were evaluated (60% of total NWDA activity since inception in 1999). These show that the Agency has performed at least as well as the national RDA average in terms of return on investment.
Headline statistics over the past five years show that from the projects evaluated, the NWDA has:
• Directly created or safeguarded 97,000 jobs from the investments it made
• Created 3,500 new businesses
• Helped 14,000 companies improve their business performance
• Regenerated 1,900 hectares of disused land
• Helped 97,000 people to gain new skills
Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive, said: “I welcome this report into the impact of the Regional Development Agencies, which has provided the most comprehensive independent evaluation of our investments since our inception. It’s very positive to see that many of the projects and initiatives evaluated have had a real and significant impact on regional economies. Importantly, these results only demonstrate part of our impact and we know there will be more value to come.”
Source: Northwest Regional Development Agency