Update on Yorkshire Forward and WIF

We have received a number of enquiries regarding the abolition of Yorkshire Forward, (the regional development agency), and the impact that this will have on the future of the Water Industry Forum.  We have therefore prepared the following notes to keep you abreast of the latest developments.

The Water Industry Forum is provided under a contract with Yorkshire Forward. 

In July 2010 the Department for Communities and Local Government published its “Draft Structural Reform Plan”.  In it the Department says that it will work with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to dissolve Regional Development Agencies, expecting to transfer RDA functions (Business Link, Tourism, etc) to other bodies as appropriate by April 2012.

Prior to this BIS had announced: ” Local enterprise partnerships will tackle issues including planning and housing, local transport and infrastructure, employment, enterprise and supporting business start-ups. Other roles currently carried out by the RDAs will be led nationally, such as inward investment, sector leadership, business support, innovation and access to finance.”

Yorkshire Forward has been requested by Government to submit proposals for significant cuts to its budget prior to the Public Spending Review. These proposed cuts do not include the Water Industry Forum.

The Water Industry Forum contract with Yorkshire Forward extends until December 2011 subject to satisfactory performance.  We expect that contract to be honoured by Yorkshire Forward or its successor(s).

We hope that the above has helped to clarify the current position.  Following the re-launch of the Forum in October 2009 we have received a lot of support and encouragement from both members and water companies for both our achievements to date and our aspirations for the future.  We are committed to establishing a long term future for a Forum that adds real value for suppliers in the water sector. We are therefore actively pursuing alternative sources of funding to ensure that the Forum continues to meet both the current and future needs of its membership.

Peter Drake

Director

Water Industry Forum

20 July 2010