Development Agency Re-focuses Support for Region’s Future


Yorkshire Forward has announced a new business plan which sets out how the Development Agency is responding to the challenges the region faces from the economic downturn and how it is working to ensure that the regional economy is able to respond quickly to the upturn when it comes.

Seen as ‘a strategy for the region’s future’, it reflects the need to respond to immediate challenges in a way that not only mitigates the negative impacts of the recession on the region’s businesses, individuals and communities, but also provides a strong foundation to achieve its long-term aim of sustainable economic growth.
Key objectives in the plan, which will take the Agency up to 2011, include:
• Keeping as many people as possible in jobs or work-related training in 2009.
• Working to maintain and build the number of competitive, innovative and resilient businesses in 2009.
• Supporting the sustained momentum of economic renaissance schemes in the region’s cities and towns – both urban and rural. And supporting business start-ups and growth with a property offer that meets their changing needs.
• Developing new industries and new jobs by focusing on a number of key projects to provide a catalyst for economic growth and the region working its way out of recession.
• Establishing an agreed Integrated Regional Strategy, by working in close partnership with local authorities and functional sub-regions, that is distinctive to Yorkshire and Humber.
• Ensuring Yorkshire Forward’s resources are used quickly and effectively to help the region through the economic downturn and into long-term prosperity.
The strategy emphasises the need for the Regional Development Agency to influence national policy, in addition to being guided by it, ensuring that the region’s businesses and communities have a voice to Government on issues concerning them.
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward comments: “Our revised business plan isn’t a ‘paper exercise’, it’s a strategy for the region which details  real help for Yorkshire and Humber businesses and the communities they are a part of.
“We understand the current challenges faced by our region’s businesses and have put ourselves on the frontline; working with partners such as Business Link, Job Centre Plus and Local Authorities to safeguard jobs and deliver work-related training. We have, wherever possible, worked to ensure that regeneration continues and have been a catalyst to projects and initiatives which are helping key industries work their way out of the recession.
“This business plan  will help us to ensure our efforts continue to reflect the needs of the region as we work to develop the Yorkshire and Humber economy into 2011 and beyond.”
Rosie Winterton, Regional Minister welcomes the revised plan adding: “Yorkshire Forward has done an excellent job during the recession supporting businesses and individuals in our region.  The plan published today sets out how it intends to build on this success and ensure that the region is in a good position to take advantage of the opportunities when the recovery begins”.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Leona Thompson, Press Manager on 0113 3949589 or email