A great place to do business in the United Kingdom

Are we achieving our targets?

Green – 8; Amber – 0; Red – 2; M – 4

Are we getting better?

8

Improved performance

1

Stayed the same

1

Requires improvement

4

Further information is needed or the latest measure in unavailable

Analysis and issues

The table above shows that two Performance Indicators are exceeding their targets. Two measures, regarding business start-ups and survival of new businesses beyond two years, are annual measures that reported at the end of 2017/18 and will again at the end of this financial year.

The rate of people who are employed is taken from Annual Population Survey data of the economically active population, aged 16-64, and the target for this year has been exceeded by 0.7 percentage points at 74.7%. The result for the previous year was 73.6%. Similar survey information is used to calculate unemployment among the economically active and within this indicator performance is improving and the target exceeded by 0.7 percentage points, at 3.0%.

Wider Performance Indicators

Performance on wider performance indicators is positive overall. Of 10 measures, 6 are Green, two are in Measurement and two are Red. Examples of Green indicators include the amount of commercial floor space created by Council and partner schemes (Northgate, Baron’s Quay, Winsford Industrial, Ellesmere Port Enterprise Zone, City Place), which currently stands at 170,100sqft against the target of 150,000. The number of businesses supported by the economic growth service has also significantly outperformed the full year target at mid-year, at 806 against a target of 480. The Red measures relate to the number of businesses with which the Council has a primary authority agreement (where the Council provides nationwide regulatory compliance advice to a business), which is 6 against the target of 7, and the proportion of businesses which receive a food hygiene rating of 5 at initial inspection, which has improved from 63% at the end of 17/18 to 66.3% at mid-year, against the target of 70%.

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A great place to do business in the United Kingdom

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Analysis and issues

The key highlights from across these of progress in the first half of 2018-19 include:

  • The North Wales and Mersey Dee Skills and Innovation Symposium was held on 28th September and was well supported by speakers and delegates from private and public sector and academia from both sides of the border.
  • The cross border skills focus group will meet in November to analyse the outcomes and consider the next steps.
  • To address economic growth more broadly, the Mersey Dee Alliance is proposing to develop a Mersey Dee Investment Programme to deliver the priorities in the Mersey Dee Growth Prospectus. This will include the investment required to deliver the cross border road connectivity improvements to complement the rail investment campaign.
  • Relating to Growth Track 360, there have been successful allocations in Wales & Borders Franchise, business case development is on-going for Growth Track 360 projects, and Chester station project work is ongoing.
  • Cabinet considered the revised proposals for Ellesmere Port in October 2018. The consultation on the Ellesmere Port Town Centre Masterplan was launched in October.
  • Winsford Masterplan: the town park project was completed in summer 2018. Winsford Industrial estate is also meeting its targets. An unconditional sale was agreed with tiger trailers on the land they will develop. Tiger Trailers has also secured planning permission for a new 125,000 sq.ft. unit.
  • There is a significant achievement to report regarding Broadband access to rural homes, as this is now being delivered to 97% of these homes.
  • Delivery of Action Plans is on-going in each of the four Regeneration Programme Areas. Progress on delivery is reported and monitored by respective Regeneration Boards.
  • Following the approval at Full Council to approve the next stage of Northgate project, work on developing the business case and design continues through 2019, with a start on site planned for early 2020, with a target of scheme open Spring 2021. The decision to start on site is subject to further Council approval.

Less than 15% of actions in the plan have slipped. Examples of actions which have experienced challenges include the delivery of a joint property vehicle across the public sector, which is under review with the Local Enterprise Partnership. An additional action which has experienced slippage is the delivery of new business premises created under the European Regional Development Fund programme, where a European Regional Development Fund confirmation delay between September to November has affected progress.

Next Reporting Period: The following tasks and milestones are expected to be completed in 2017-18:

  • Continued prioritisation of economic activity around transport and skills through Growth Track 360 and Mersey Dee Alliance
  • Ongoing delivery of the actions contained within the refreshed Growth Strategy under the priorities of Enterprise & Business; Infrastructure; Employment & Skills; Enabling Behaviours.
  • Redevelopment of Watling Street and interim works to Weaver Square in Northwich
  • Ongoing delivery of phase 2 of the Winsford Masterplan