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Northern Growth Development Zone


To undertake a review of business and innovation activity in the Northern Growth Development Zone (NGDZ) to establish a baseline model and growth forecast to support the economic impact assessment for the HS2 rail infrastructure project.


The nature and reach of the HS2 project creates a series of complex local environments for growth assessment. IDM was challenged to provide an understanding of current activity with comparative analysis of the national picture across sectors. Using this as a baseline, we were then challenged to assess future growth in the context of the impact of HS2. Our data-led comparative analysis assessed historic growth in business, innovation and employment locally and nationally across a range of sectors using our proprietary database. We used autoregressive integrated moving average forecasts with additional checks for periodicity and seasonality. This was cross-checked against an exponential smoothing model for time series data to allow us to generate forecasts of future business and employment growth across the NGDZ. Cross- correlation factor analysis was used to identify the local innovation pool that could support additional sectoral growth.


Our analysis highlighted those sectors in the NGDZ where growth was happening and provided a localised forecast of future business and employment growth. The outputs created the baseline to develop targeted sectoral plans to support the growth of the identified key sectors in the context of infrastructure developments that would result in overarching economic benefits for the NGDZ area.

Impact: Our assessment provided a growth forecast to underpin the development of the Northern Growth Development Zone.


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