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Black Country Partners

The Black Country Consortiums Economic Intelligence Team (EIU) provides direct intelligence support to all of our Black Country Consortium partners including Local Authorities, University of Wolverhampton, Black Country Colleges, Environmental Agencies, the third sector.

Some of the areas we cover include:

Black Country Performance Management Framework

We undertake regular health checks of the Black Country economy and monitor the impact of interventions to make sure that projects deliver value for money. Critical to this was the development and political endorsement of the Black Country Performance Management Framework (PMF). The PMF provides a clear framework to monitor progress and the economic changes required to achieve our 30-year vision and the ambitions across the twelve programmes in our Strategic Economic Plan. The PMF is composed of a selection of strategic headline indicators, which measure the impact of the various programmes areas of the BC SEP. The PMF will provide a framework against which BC success can be measured, both across strategic programmes and in individual projects. The ambitions are based on an agreed vision led economic future for the area underpinned by extensive modelling work undertaken using the Oxford Economic model.  We annually monitor our progress in relation to the targets in the PMF so that we can be clear on the impact of our delivery plan in achieving our ambitions. This is reporting on and updated annually in our Annual Economic Review. 

 

Evidence Based Approach – Strategic Economic Plan

The EIU are instrumental of the development of the Black Country Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).  The following diagram illustrates the evidence led approach we take we ensure the effective delivery of our Strategic Economic Plan.

We provide evidence and work with partners across all the 12 SEP Programmes to support and deliver transformational changes. Some examples of SEP Programmes and EIU Project Examples are provided below:

Pl1. Expanding the availability of High Quality Employment Land

The EIU has worked with Local Authorities and other partners to develop an inventory of Black Country employment land sites that will form the basis of the pipeline from present to 2026 and beyond.  The pipeline of sites is matched against the aims of ambitions for each area to understand deliver in the context of the Black Country Strategic Economic Plan and the Black Country Core Strategy.  All of the sites within the pipeline have site specific further intelligence details against them and have exact boundaries mapped as GIS layers. Market intelligence is also applied to identify where multiple major developments are taking place.

Pl2: Infrastructure to Support Growth

We have worked with partners to provided extensive intelligence and spatial mapping to support the Black Country Broadband Project with Broadband Delivery UK which will extend the availability of superfast fibre broadband to over 99% of homes and businesses by 2018 and will enable nearly 60,000 premises.  The investment in high-speed fibre broadband aims to help businesses to become more competitive and grow whilst enabling local people to better access a range of public services online, as well as new leisure, educational and training opportunities.  

Pl3. Expanding the Construction & Renewal of Housing Stock

The EIU has worked with Local Authorities and other partners to develop an inventory of Black Country housing land sites that will form the basis of the pipeline from present to 2026 and beyond.  The pipeline of sites is matched against the aims of ambitions for each area to understand deliver in the context of the Black Country Strategic Economic Plan and the Black Country Core Strategy.  All of the sites within the pipeline have site specific further intelligence details against them and have exact boundaries mapped as GIS layers. Market intelligence is also applied to identify where multiple major developments are taking place.

Pl4. Distinctive Urban Centres

We produce spatial profiles of the growth network including our 16 regeneration corridors and 4 strategic centres to identify the ambitions for these localities and the activity identified in the pipeline across all our propositions areas.

 Pl5. Quality Environment and Local Carbon

The EIU have worked closely with the Birmingham & Black Country Local Nature Partnership to develop their State of the Environment Dashboard and provide the economic intelligence to feed into their Natural Capital Framework.

We have collaborated with the University of Wolverhampton to help create the Brownfield Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC). Closely linked to PL.1 and PL.3, BRIC will promote innovative low carbon and sustainable remediation technologies to help deliver brownfield land to the market within the Black Country.


P1. Skills for the Supply Chain

The Black Country Consortium are leading on a sector led approach to addressing the skills needs across the Building Technologies Sector and ultimately scaling up the Skills Factory model. This is supported be evidence and insight provided by the EIU Team.

 

P2. Skills Capital

The EIU are supporting the Black Country LEP programme office with an in-depth analysis of Apprenticeships and learners that are due to be created as part of Growth Deal activity. This data is presented to the Employment and Skills Board to guide decision making and activity around the people and skills agenda.

P3. Schools – Raising Skills for the Future

The EIU Team are undertaking significant work for the Skills Factory to support the Passport to Employment programme to identify trends and to focus activity. The EIU have also raised awareness of careers and sectors through the provision of effective LMI to schools as part of the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) across Black Country secondary schools. This is directly supporting the leadership teams at schools to shape the careers and business engagement strategy at the school. In addition, The CEC Dashboard created by EIU helps to monitor the impact of the EAN programme.

P4. Skills for the Unemployed

The EIU has provided significant support to the WMCA Employment & Skills Group to develop an approach to identifying geographical areas in need of intervention as part of the Employment Skills Pilot. This work has supported making the case to government for funding. In addition the EIU deliver detailed analysis on the Working Together Pilot as part of City Deal which seeks to get long term unemployed local residents into sustainable employment.

 

B1. A Supply Chain Fit To Supply - Supply Chain Development including Innovation & Enterprise

We undertake an ongoing in-depth analysis of our indigenous business base and its growth potential alongside new business growth and inward investment across all sectors.

 

 

B2. Exploiting Global Opportunities

Working with Invest Black Country we ensure UKTI has real time business intelligence to identify the opportunities and specialisms in the Black Country.

B3. Access to Finance

We analysis live funding enquiries to identify Black Country businesses with plans to grow and the impact on the business base and Black Country growth ambitions.


Spatial Analysis 

Mapping is at the heart of what we do and it encompasses all of our work streams.

GIS provides a geospatial framework to enable it as a tool to allow large quantities of often unrelated data to be linked together geographically in order to ask key questions of the environment that data highlights and to provide data visualisation as evidence to support policies and strategy.

As well as using the mapping tools for the spatial analysis we have a keen focus on map production whilst adhering to core cartographical principles – map design and the visualisation of data.

In collaboration with the infographics that we also produce we are able to bring added value to datasets by displaying them using innovative techniques. 

Measuring Impact

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are critical elements in the development and the delivery of the Black Country Strategic Economic Plan:

  • The vision lead strategy sets out the strategic objectives for the area and a set of indicators to measure these form the basis of the Performance Management Framework.
  • The Assurance Framework is aligned to the strategic objectives and the business case templates will show the links to the objectives and quantify the related outputs.
  • The Dynamic Economic Impact Model - a bespoke and best-in-class Dynamic Economic Impact model which provides a clear mechanism to measure the economic impact of programmes in a spatial context will provide a tool to ensure we are maximising the impact of our investments.
  • Impact Pathways will be used to evaluate the impact of the investment from outputs to outcomes and the impact on the strategic objectives for the area.