Select Committee on Transport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) brings together a group of the most influential business leaders in North West England, to address key strategic issues affecting the well-being of the region and all its people. The current membership is shown overleaf.

  NWBLT was formally launched by HRH The Prince of Wales in July 1989 and has been at the forefront of the strategic development of the North West region ever since. In 1992, in partnership with the North West Regional Association of Local Authorities and with support from the European Commission, NWBLT commissioned the North West's first comprehensive Regional Economic Strategy. NWBLT also played a leading role in the formation in 1994 of The North West Partnership—the first region-wide partnership between the public, private, academic, co-operative, trade union and voluntary sectors. NWBLT is now a partner in the North West Regional Assembly, which took over the functions of The North West Partnership and Regional Association in 1998 in readiness for the introduction of the statutory North West Development Agency in April 1999. NWBLT's Chairman also acts as Chairman of the Regional Review Group, which brings together senior representatives of the Regional Assembly, Development Agency and Government Office North West to monitor the effective delivery of the Regional Strategy and aid the overall process of regional consultation and accountability.

  NWBLT's approach is to operate as a strategic regional think-tank, focussing on a small number of key issues and projects which support or complement the North West's Regional Strategy, launched by the Development Agency in January 2000. This sets out a vision for the North West as a region which attracts and retains skilled and talented people; nurtures its communities and environment; kindles creativity, innovation and competitiveness; and enhances its image, infrastructure and ability to attract inward investment.

  NWBLT was heavily engaged in promoting wide consultation with the region's principal business sectors during the preparation of the Regional Strategy and now focusses its attention on those aspects of the Strategy's development and implementation to which the input of business leaders adds the greatest value. Currently the principal focus is on promoting skills development and enterprise, marketing the region and supporting the region's strategic transport and communications priorities. Specialist action groups, drawn from NWBLT's member companies, have been working on these key areas since January 2002. The Team is particularly mindful of the need to focus on the key industry sectors identified in the Regional Strategy and the value of close collaboration between business and the education and research institutions in enhancing the economic competitiveness of the region in the global market place. Over the years NWBLT has also played a significant role in promoting best practice in social responsibility and sustainable development through its members' corporate community activities. Further information on all these activities is available on the NWBLT website

  Membership of NWBLT is by invitation of the Chairman and is normally restricted to the Chairmen or senior Board members of major public companies in the North West. The work of NWBLT is supported by a small office located at Daresbury Laboratory, near Warrington. A Business Leadership Forum meets monthly around the region to enable regular communication to take place with other organisations or individuals interested in contributing to the well-being of the North West and improving the quality of life of all its people.

June 2002

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