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NWDA cuts cash for key projects

Simon Binns breaks the news as the Football Museum, Sportcity and Manchester International Festival all suffer setbacks

Written by . Published on July 26th 2010.


NWDA cuts cash for key projects

The Northwest Regional Development Agency has confirmed that it will not fund any more projects as it prepares to wind down in 2012 and has begun the redundancy process, as revealed by Manchester Confidential last week (click here).

Other projects that stand to lose out from the funding cuts includes Manchester Metropolitan University’s £120m Birley Fields Campus; Manchester International Festival; Talbot Gateway in Blackpool; The Corridor Manchester Public Realm

The organisation has also said that it will stop funding relationships with existing partners in March 2011 and has published a list of 30 uncommitted projects that will not receive any money, including the National Football Museum move from Preston to Manchester and a “major destination site” in Sportcity, East Manchester .

Central Salford URC and New East Manchester will see their funding cut off from next March, as will Pro Manchester, Manchester Knowledge Capital, inward investment agency MIDAS and Salford City Council, for its MediaCity public sector partners programme. Northwest Vision+Media will be given operational funding until March 2012 but the agency said it was otherwise “closed for business”.

Other projects that stand to lose out from the funding cuts includes Manchester Metropolitan University’s £120m Birley Fields Campus; Manchester International Festival; Talbot Gateway in Blackpool; The Corridor Manchester Public Realm; Ancoats Estate Management Company; Next Generation Access Broadband Manchester and the developments taking place in the Co-operative Quarter, around the firm’s new headquarters.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) said: “We are facing a challenging situation as we have to save £52m from this year’s NWDA budget.

“We have made a start by cutting non-contracted projects and reducing our own administration budget but we now need to re-examine all existing projects and programmes to identify where further savings can be made.

“We are now involved in very careful and sensitive discussions with our partners about this. We will use all available flexibility to try to meet these challenging reductions but the reality is that this is a substantial reduction to our in-year budget and there is bound to be an economic impact on the partners, businesses and communities with whom we work.”

The agency has stopped all discretionary spend in areas such as marketing and recruitment, IT, consultancy and facilities and confirmed the voluntary redundancy scheme.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NemoJuly 27th 2010.

Does no-one care about this story then?

AnonymousJuly 27th 2010.

Some of the list are no brainers (i.e. large capital projects) others are bigger misses

It could have been worse I suppose.

I'm surprised to find out NWDA supported pro.manchester however. I thought they represented private interests

MsCrowJuly 27th 2010.

"Does no-one care about this story then?" Lots of us but because we are involved in projects which have either been scrapped or are now shadows of their original scope, we knew about this around 21 June. So, not sure why it's taken so long to dribble into the web press. I work in the community media sector, we're all just waiting for the next source of funding to go...

BenJuly 27th 2010.

So the Urbis refurbishment, not that many years after it was opened not a done deal? Why did they close it in advance? Maybe a "white lie" about the football museum meant they could save the cost of contimuing to run the place unprofitably for a year or so.

AnonymousJuly 27th 2010.

Ben, think that may be a little bit of paranoia on your part... The football museum coming to Manchester wasn't dependent on NWDA funding as one of the conditions of it being awarded to the city was that the council would underwrite the costs.

AnonymousJuly 27th 2010.

My calaculations fron the MEN figures suggest that only the smaller projects will die. The others will probably be delivered in cut back form depending on their funding arrangments.

Mr Binns does seem however to have thwown his toys out of the pram without speaking to anyone. Is that right?

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