We serve the North West of England


We are committed to understanding the key factors that make our region unique.

Economic factors

We are building resilience to continue serving our growing population and support jobs and the tourism industry.

  • 7.3 million population expected to grow significantly in the next 25 years
  • 22,700(1) jobs actively supported by our work, with over 5,000 direct employees
  • Tourism relied on by Lake District, Liverpool and coastal area

Social factors

We are leading the sector on affordability and vulnerability.

  • 41 per cent of the most deprived areas in the country
  • 47 per cent of households have less than £100 savings to cope with unexpected bills
  • 18 per cent of households are affected by water poverty, 20 per cent higher than the national average

Environmental factors

We have a large coastline, protected rural areas and dense urban areas, all of which create different demands.

  • 30 per cent of land is National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • 29 designated bathing waters
  • 830mm higher than average UK rainfall each year

(1)based on our 2020 to 2025 business plan

What Matters

Improving social mobility in our region


This is important to help the north west economy thrive and offers us a diverse workforce.

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce and providing career and employment opportunities to deprived and disadvantaged young people to help improve social mobility in our region.

Our open employee recruitment practice promotes a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and circumstances including lowering qualification criteria to allow individuals to successfully apply.

This year, we ran two youth programmes. We supported over 20 young people, who were not in education, employment and training, to graduate from our six-week programme. The course is designed to break down barriers and help the participants become more employable and work ready. For the first time, we ran a cohort in one of our targeted communities, Blackburn, where 76 per cent of the participants went on to secure paid employment immediately after graduating from the programme.

This year, 12 of our managers volunteered to mentor a care leaver student in their second year of study at the University of Salford. Managers were given specialist training on how to mentor a care leaver student. Their role was to provide insight into progression within the industry, give expert advice and guidance with CVs and application forms, prepare students for the workplace and provide mentees with opportunities to enhance their knowledge and expertise in practical environments.

We recruited university ambassadors from four of our targeted universities across the North West this year. The ambassadors support us in promoting our employment opportunities to under-represented groups within their universities. We have recruited the ambassadors based on their own diversity, and have worked with them to promote our summer placements, 12-month internships and graduate opportunities.

Social mobility is fundamental for a fair society and for regional economic prosperity. As a result of our activity to recruit people from disadvantaged backgrounds and circumstances into the business, we have converted over 60 people into paid employment, providing a pathway out of poverty and ultimately increasing an individual's social mobility. It is estimated the social value of this is in the region of £9 million.

Generating value for: