Our Starting Point

Where did we start in Greater Manchester?

Greater Manchester has a long history of collaboration, under the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) where the ten local authorities have worked together for over 20 years. This is a significant contributor to the Greater Manchester Moving journey, particularly since devolution.

The Manchester Independent Economic review (MIER), published in April 2009, was a ground-breaking, independent study that provided the analytical underpinnings of successive Greater Manchester strategies for local growth and public service reform. The MIER reviewers stressed the need for GM to be equipped with more ‘policy tools’, noting that it lacked the fiscal and policy levers to build successfully upon the area’s strengths and confront the challenges it continued to face.

Their recommendations paved the way for the creation of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in 2011, the election of GM’s first metro mayor in 2017, and a series of devolution deals with Government that strengthened GM’s governing capacities across a range of policy areas[1].

There is a great sporting tradition and identity in the city region. There was the strong foundation of a well-connected physical activity and sport system, with high performing leisure and cultural trusts and County Sports Partnership (GreaterSport).

In 2014, physical activity, sport and health leaders around the country were awakening to the huge and fast growing challenge and cost of inactivity. The Designed to Move report had been published, by the Young Foundation in 2013 and Everybody Active Every Day (Public Health England, in 2014). The emerging narrative was that a shift of focus to addressing inactivity was required to effect real change.

In Greater Manchester, each local authority Chief Executive takes a lead responsibility for specific agenda across the ten local authorities. Steven Pleasant, Chief Executive at Tameside MBC, was the lead for health. He and Yvonne Harrison (then Chief Executive at GreaterSport) were instrumental to the start of the GM Moving journey.