Through our activities, we make an important contribution to the environment, society and economy of the North West. At the start of each five-year investment cycle, we undertake a study to assess the economic contribution arising from our proposed spend.
We asked Hatch Regeneris, an independent economics consultancy, to estimate our contribution to the regional economy between 2020 and 2025, concluding this will be around £10.5 billion over the five years. Its report calculated we will support an average of 22,700 jobs through direct, indirect and induced employment effects, which is the people we employ directly, through our supply chain or arising from employee expenditure.
To put this into context, this equates to one per cent of all jobs and one in every £80 of gross value add (GVA) in the North West (pre-COVID-19 numbers). Our estimated GVA contribution each year of £2.1 billion compares with £2.8 billion GVA for the whole north west civil engineering sector.
As the economic effects of the pandemic begin to be felt, our investment programme offers a reliable economic contribution and source of employment to the region.
In February, we submitted proposals to support Defra’s green recovery initiative, including plans to accelerate our current investment programme. By bringing expenditure forward, we will support an additional 1,500 to 2,000 jobs in the earlier years, when we can expect to see the worst economic effects of the pandemic.
Such analysis gives greater insight into the value we bring to the North West and enables us to make more informed, rounded, balanced decisions, shaped by stakeholder research and engagement. In AMP7, we’ve agreed a target to generate £4 million of natural capital value through catchment schemes – alongside water quality benefits, this work will protect and enhance biodiversity. Our investment in young people not in education, employment and training has already yielded over £9 million of social value through avoided welfare costs.
Looking ahead, we recently assessed the social and economic value that will arise from our commitment to reduce flooding occurrences by 2025. We’ve estimated that £200 million of social value will be generated based on the avoided impact of internal flooding, which includes the wellbeing benefits for customers. While further analysis is required, thinking this way offers additional insight into how we value future investments plans.