Creating and sustaining of cross regional/international partnerships
This BP example is concerned with the following area of interest; The creating and sustaining of cross regional/international partnerships. This best practice is an example of the creation of intrenational partnerships founded in civic and cultural similarities, leading to economic cooperation.Following the UK exit from recession in 2012 Wakefield Enterprise Partnership (WEP) was investigating and identifying routes to develop and diversify the local economy. The Wakefield economy has historically been overly reliant on one-two key sectors. The impact of this is that the district has suffered from wage suppression and a large concentration of employment in elementary occupations that require low to no distinct skills.
Working in partnership with the national Department for International Trade, Wakefield Council and the WEP began to identify different areas of the world where it was felt there would be significant opportunity to develop sister city agreements to deliver culture and economic benefits to the region.
One of the identified countries was China, however it was clear forming long term relationships was going to be difficult due to the significant cultural difference.

Resources needed

DIT (Department for International Trade)
- Local Authorities (Wakefield Council)
- Education Providers (both parties)
- Private Sector Businesses (both parties)
- Mayoral Office Xiangyang

Evidence of success

The following evidence is in place:
- Multiple exchange visits by both parties
- The signing of contractual agreements by multiple private sector parties
- Exchange visits agreed between cultural organisations
- Education exchange programmes have been agreed
- The signing of sister city agreements

Potential for learning or transfer

There are a number of clear benificiaries that include public sector organisations, cultural offerings and private sector organisations.
Some direct benefits are outlined below;
A number of enterprises have developed supply chain opportunities including Double Two and Uranus Garments Ltd.
Relevant departments and organisations from both parties are creating links and developing a student exchange programme.
Relevant departments and organisations from both parties are creating links and developing a teacher exchange programme.
Main institution
Wakefield Council
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Start Date
January 2016
End Date
September 2017


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