Our performance as a regional development agency

As with any government agency, Yorkshire Forward is accountable for the way that it spends its money.  We are directly accountable to the government department BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform). Every 3 years, Yorkshire Forward agrees a corporate plan with BERR which sets out objectives showing how we will deliver our part of the Regional Economic Strategy. The latest Corporate Plan is for the period 2008/11.

What we have achieved

Yorkshire Forward prides itself on being an outcome-driven agency. We have met or exceeded all of our Corporate Plan targets, and remain the leanest of all the regional development agencies in England.

In 2007-08, we:
  • created or safeguarded 25,456 jobs
  • assisted 35,165 people in skills
  • created 1,231 businesses
  • attracted over £1bn in investment.

How we manage our performance

Internally, our performance is managed by the Yorkshire Forward executive team; regular performance reports highlight how we are progressing. Our board reviews our performance at their meetings, held every 6 weeks. Copies of board papers are available. There is a Performance Team at Yorkshire Forward which works closely with the Executive to ensure that Corporate Plan objectives are being addressed and that the outcomes are measured. We also undertake an annual staff survey to understand what our staff think about a range of issues, including the performance of internal teams and directors.

How our performance is assessed

Our performance is measured in a number of ways:
  • As part of the accountability process with BERR, Yorkshire Forward meets with BERR every six months to report on how we are performing.
  • Our work is scrutinised by the Yorkshire & Humber Assembly.
  • The National Audit Office carries out an Independent Performance Assessment (IPA) every 3 years.  Our 2007 report says that we perform ‘strongly overall’, with particular strengths in our ambition, capacity and achievements. They comment that our Regional Economic Strategy is clear, and that we consulted widely in developing it.
  • The NAO audits our annual report and accounts every year.

As well as being accountable to government, Yorkshire Forward strongly believes that as a public agency it is accountable to its many stakeholders, including partner organisations such as local authorities and the business community. For this reason, Yorkshire Forward conducts an annual stakeholder survey to help gauge whether partners and stakeholders are clear about the work we are doing and happy with our performance.

Some recent highlights 2007/08:

  • Setting uniquely ambitious targets for developing a lower-carbon economy
  • Increasing foreign investments into our region by 60% between 2007 & 2008
  • Responding quickly and thoroughly to economic shocks, particularly the flooding of 2007
  • Investing £10m in Charity Bank in the North, to help third-sector organisations move into sustainable self-sufficiency
  • Rationalising the existing structure of four regional Business Links into one regional gateway
  • Taking our region to the world in a 5-year partnership with Clipper Ventures, sponsoring the yacht Hull and Humber in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
  • Putting in place a new funding programme worth £63m to support farming, forestry and other rural businesses
  • Bringing the Indian International Film Awards to Yorkshire & Humber. This proved our ability to host world-class events; showcased our region around the globe through media coverage; and brought an estimated £9.5m into the region.

We practice what we preach

When it comes to environmental performance, in 2007-08 we retained our certification to ISO 14001 and the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). We achieved Gold in this year’s Business in the Environment Environmental Index, and were one of only 12 organisations scoring 90% or more.  We have Investors in People accreditation.

Prompt payment code

We adhere to the prompt payment code which means we:

Pay suppliers on time 
  • within the terms agreed at the outset of the contract
  • without attempting to change payment terms retrospectively
  • without changing practice on length of payment for smaller companies on unreasonable grounds 
Give clear guidance to suppliers
  • providing suppliers with clear and easily accessible guidance on payment procedures
  • ensuring there is a system for dealing with complaints and disputes which is communicated to suppliers
  • advising them promptly if there is any reason why an invoice will not be paid to the agreed terms 
Encourage good practice 
  • by requesting that lead suppliers encourage adoption of the code throughout their own supply chains 
An economic overview
Find out how the economy is thriving in Yorkshire & Humber: our Chief Economist’s Unit has the inside track. GO!
Our aims
Our aims for include helping businesses, supporting people and improving places. GO!
Our strategy
Find out how Yorkshire Forward helps to achieve the Regional Economic Strategy. GO!
Our vision
Find out about Yorkshire Forward’s vision for the businesses, people and places in our region. GO!