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Vince Cable confirms the NWDA will not be axed


Vince Cable confirms the NWDA will not be axed

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Vince Cable confirms the NWDA will not be axed
26 May, 2010  |  No comments  |  Blog

BRITAIN’S new Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition has this week unveiled controversial plans to replace regional development agencies with local enterprise partnerships.

The North West Development Agency (NWDA) could face being disbanded when plans to create local enterprise partnerships, made up of councils and local business heads move forward.

But Government Minister and new business secretary Vince Cable has given the strongest hint yet that “popular” regional development agencies (RDAs) in the north and Midlands could survive the raft of public sector cuts due to be announced by the Treasury on Monday.

Speaking yesterday he said there seemed to be a strong business case for keeping the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) broadly in its present form.

“I have not come here wielding the axe,” he said. “There are areas like the North West and Yorkshire , where there are real serious structural problems and there seems to be a broad agreement with local businesses that the RDAs are doing a good job.”

However, he said that the  agency would be reformed, with its powers likely to be shifted to having a pure economic development focus. These new bodies may take the form of the existing Regional Development Agencies in areas where they are popular; which would mean the NWDA would still exist under a different name after the changes.

To date the NWDA agency has created or safeguarded 222,000 jobs, created 23,000 new businesses, reclaimed 4,700 ha of Brownfield land and levered £3.2 billion private sector investment.

It has been instrumental in driving forward the growth of Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus, reversing the decline in areas like Ancoats and Blackpool, and turning transformational projects such as MediaCityUK and the University of Cumbria into a reality.

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