Heart Special Report - Counting the Cost

This week we look at how people, charities and businesses large and small, are coping with the recession and budget cuts.

During the past few years Britain has been hit by a deep recession, and now people's pockets are being hit by government spending cuts.

All this week Heart's Andy Downton will be talking to people who've managed to cope with less money, from small business, charities, and large multinational companies with strong ties to the North West and Wales.

Cheeky Charlies Sweet EmporiumDay 1 - Shoes to Sweets

Leslie opened the Shooz-4-u shoe shop in Prenton on the Wirral two years ago.  Six months ago Leslie decided to make a big change to make sure her business survived.  Hear our special report:

From shoes to sweet


Air Ambulance Wales Day 2 - Air Ambulance Wales

Wales is covered by three air ambulance helicopters with an annual running cost of £5m.

The entire service is funded by donations, and with a cost of £1200 per lifesaving flight, keeping the vital lifeline running is a major priority.

Anna Evans is from Air Ambulance Wales


Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Day 3 - Big Business

It isn't just small business and charities that have been hit by the economic crisis, international car company General Motors also had difficulties with the American government having to give loans to the business there, and for a time the European arm of the company was also up for sale.

For a time it looked like a Canadian firm called Magna were looking to take over the business which included the plant in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.  The plan would have seen hundreds made redundant.

GM kept hold of the business, and even invested in a new model at the Cheshire plant.

Heart's Andy Downton spoke with HR Director Phil Millward


Clothes Rail Day 4 - Your wardrobe

The latest figures this week show that prices on the high street have gone up by 3% during this last year, having a new wardrobe is something which is out of reach for some people.

Faye Davies and Emma Cousens have got together to create the 'Style Exchange' where women get together, swap their clothes, and even get advice on what to wear from stylists.

Heart's Heather Clancey talks to Faye Davies


jobs general Day 5 - Employment

Tens of thousands of people have been affected by job cuts in both the private and public sector during the past few years, things look like they could be improving in one area of the North West and Wales.

Heart's Andy Downton looks at employment