How is the Black Country performing?

Map showing the number of workless people by lower super output area in the Black Country in May 2008

Map showing levels of worklessness in the Black Country May 2008 (click map to view at full size)

How can we tell whether real progress is being made towards achievement of the Black Country’s aspirations?

The aspirations are set out in the Black Country Vision and the  Black Country Strategy for Growth and Competitiveness.

The answer may lie in the newly developed Black Country performance management framework, which consists of 24 key indicators that measure achievement of the Black Country Strategy.

Supporting maps for each indicator are available on Black Country Knowledge (registration required).

Some key findings from the recent Black Country Business Barometer show that in the Black Country:

  • There are low levels of business start ups (an additional 1,445 new registered businesses required).
  • Achievement of current Local Area Agreement targets will not have an impact on the challenge.
  • There are low levels of business stock (378 per 10,000 BC population vs. 484 nationally).

The report also provides information on business survival rates, employment and wage data. This report and many others can be downloaded from Black Country Reports within Black Country Knowledge (registration required).

This work will be the basis upon which the Black Country will look to develop a co-ordinated and integrated framework for change, aligning strategy, delivery and evidence locally, sub-regionally and regionally.

Progress on the indicators is reported via a series of regular barometer reports that provide clear analysis of recent data and enable policy debate to be evidence driven.

Thanks to Delma Dwight at Black Country Observatory for contributing this article.

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