Research undertaken in 2006, Environmental Economy Of The NW 2006 (137.2 KB), indicated that the Northwest region’s environmental economy generated a minimum of 109,300 jobs, associated with an estimated gross value added (GVA) of £2.65bn, equivalent to 2.7 percent of the regional economy.  The Environmental Economy was defined as those aspects of the economy which utilised and relied upon a quality environment. These figures are now likely to be a significant underestimate as the methodology at the time was conservative in its estimation and, since then, the Low Carbon Environment Goods and Services sector (LCEGS) alone has grown by approximately 4.5% per annum.   

This website outlines the work of Northwest regional partners in promoting sustainable economic development in England’s Northwest between 2002 and 2012, focusing primarily on those interventions which aimed to promote the environmental economy of the region and decouple economic growth from environmental degradation.  Four key regional governance organisations formed a concordat: NWDA, 4NW (ex Regional Assembly, Government Office Northwest and Environment Agency.  Joining together with other regional and local governance bodies, the private and voluntary sectors, these organisations formed a broad regional partnership with the aim of promoting a sustainable economy for the Northwest whilst protecting and enhancing the region’s environment.

In 2010, a change in UK Government administration brought with it a change in Government policy away from `regionalism’ and towards `localism’.  This placed an increased emphasis on Local Authorities as change agents for sustainable economic development and also saw the creation of private sector led Local Enterprise Parterships (LEPs) to provide local business leadership as, between 2010-2012, many of the previous regional governance organisations were abolished or scaled back.   There are now 5 LEPs in the Northwest, each covering one of the five counties. 

Whenever creating something new, it is useful to have a view of what has gone before. This website has therefore been developed to support those people and organisations charged with leading the drive towards a sustainable economy of the future.  We have tried to highlight the existing evidence base to action and identify the key lessons learnt to support their endeavours.

We hope that the site may also be used to maintain those strong relationships between individuals working in this area, share knowledge and experience and encourage accelerated action to deliver a sustainable economy for the Northwest region.   We have tried to structure this site so that it is useful and accessible to its intended audience.

The enviro-economy work can be differentiated into four independent yet interconnected workstreams.

• Sustainable Consumption and Production
• Climate Change
• Energy and Environmental Technologies Sector Development
• Environmental Quality

Cross-cutting items which do not fit easily into any one of the above have been included in a fifth category:

• General Sustainable Economic Development

Each workstream had its own strategy or action plan and a multi-million pound project portfolio. Where possible, we have included links to these and to case studies, research and evaluation reports.