Joint working on common strategic interests before the period of the current Partnership yielded important successes, not least the North East Wales West Cheshire Sub Regional Spatial Strategy which won the region’s Best Strategic Planning Document Award at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Northwest Regional Planning Achievement Awards 2007. The strategy was underpinned by a sub-regional study (GVA Grimley 2004), and before that commissioned studies on employment, skills, training and transport options have given a consistent message and firm evidence base for policy making.
The North West Development Agency (NWDA)-funded Business Enterprise Support Strategy (BESS) (2002-7) was a successful £1m programme of regeneration for deprived wards operating across county boundaries that levered in an additional £700k from other public and private sources. The programme led to initiatives such as Cheshire Oaks Retail Academy and ‘Workwise’ which provides transport solutions to enable people to access employment and training opportunities. Workwise has been recognised as national best practice, and played a role in Merseytravel and Merseyside local authorities winning Beacon Status for Accessibility in 2008.