Evidence Base

Underpinning the Strategic Economic Framework is an evidence base which identifies the key strengths, challenges, and opportunities we face. The evidence base is continually updated with new and emerging research and intelligence which informs our work.

State of the Region 2022

State of the Region 2022 is the first annual review of the performance of West Yorkshire against key socio-economic and environmental indicators. It provides a stocktake using indicators developed as part of the Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Framework.

As West Yorkshire takes up its devolved powers with the direct election of its new Mayor, it is an opportune and appropriate time to assess the progress the region is making.

Economic Assessment

West Yorkshire Economic Assessment  

The Economic Assessment, carried out in March 2020, provides a broad analysis of available data to understand the economy and economic geography of West Yorkshire. It primarily draws on analysis of published data from the Office for National Statistics and other official sources to provide an understanding of economic performance on a range of indicators. It is structured around the five foundations of productivity as set out in the national Industrial Strategy.  

  • Business environment 
  • Ideas 
  • Infrastructure 
  • People 
  • Place  

Read the full Economic Assessment here.


Research studies

North and West Yorkshire Productivity Audit  

A Productivity Audit was undertaken across North and West Yorkshire to gain a deeper understanding of:  

  • Existing key sector strengths and challenges  
  • Emerging sector strengths  
  • Potential opportunities for growth in productivity and good jobs in both emerging and established sectors of the region  
  • Potential opportunities and challenges in both emerging and established sectors. 

The report provides a series of recommendations in relation to business support policies to boost productivity.  

Read the full report here.


Understanding the Region’s Innovation Capacity, Capability and Potential  

This research provides in-depth analysis to support our understanding of the region’s innovation culture. The report enhances our understanding of how the business culture contributes to innovation performance and the role it plays in the participation in and diffusion of innovation through the region 

Read the full report here.


Tackling the Climate Emergency Emissions Pathways Report 

The Emissions Reduction Pathways study, produced for the Leeds City Region and York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnerships, is the first in a three-step process to determine what steps are needed to create a net-zero carbon economy.

The results will set out how we can address the climate emergency, meet our target, and reduce emissions across five sectors of our economy: buildings, industry, land use and agriculture, power, and transport. 

Read the full report here.


Labour Market Information  

This report provides an assessment of Leeds City Region’s skills needs, based on a detailed analysis of the supply and demand of skills together with evidence of mismatch and market failure.

As well as providing an evidence base for policy and strategy development it can be used to inform the development of curriculum strategy and to support the delivery of careers information and advice. 

Read the full report here.


Future Ready Skills Commission  

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority supported the creation of an independent Commission to shape the future of the skills system, so that it better meets the needs of individuals, businesses and the economy. 

The aim of the Commission was to develop a blueprint for an education and skills system that can contribute to the outcomes needed at local level i.e. the achievement of local economic priorities, the fulfilment of individual aspirations and the promotion of inclusive growth. 

You can find further details on the Future-Ready Skills Commission here. 



Work is ongoing to develop a Connectivity Strategy setting out a pipeline of future transport interventions covering bus, rail, cycling, walking, and mass transit and demand responsive transport / future mobility solutions. The pipeline looks at the needs for connectivity to 2040 and has been created to:   

  • Enhance productivity by connecting all of our important places with a focus on our disadvantaged and peripheral groups/communities – for an inclusive economy  
  • Respond to the region’s carbon reduction target - for a sustainable economy  

The underpinning evidence for this work will be published alongside the strategy in 2021, this includes work on Housing Affordability and Need.  


Reporting tools and surveys

Leeds City Region Business Survey  

The Leeds City Region Business Survey provides a key source of information on   business views and activity in the region. It has been an integral part of the local evidence base since 2011.

It plugs evidence gaps on a range of topical issues and to understand the climate in which businesses in Leeds City Region are operating. The scope of the survey includes business performance, barriers to growth, skills issues, and a range of policy issues such as Brexit, access to finance and business planning.

It also provides data on business engagement in activities such as innovation and exporting which is difficult to obtain from other sources. 

You can read more details about the business survey here. 


Tracker Survey  

The aim of this survey is to monitor public satisfaction with public transport services, infrastructure, travel information and affordability.  The results of the survey feed into the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy indicators.


Regional Econometric Model (REM) 

The REM is an economic forecasting tool used to support policy and investment decisions from West Yorkshire Combined Authority projects to districts’ local plans. The REM is also used for evaluation and measuring economic impact. 


The Urban Dynamic Model (UDM) 

The Urban Dynamic Model is a simulation of how an urban area evolves over time, considering the interactions between transport, land-use, population and employment. While this model is commonly referred to as a Land Use Transport Interaction (LUTI) model, it is a System Dynamics based model.


The Growth Deal Evaluation Report

The Growth Deal Report provides an independent impact evaluation of the Growth Deal secured and delivered from April 2015 to March 2021. The report focusses on the £235.45 million of expenditure focussed on economic development and excludes the £280.55 million that the LEP and Combined Authority have invested in transport schemes as they are subject to a separate evaluation. The evaluation report determines the overall effectiveness, impact and value for money achieved of the non-transport elements of the Growth Deal.

You can read the report here