Northern Powerhouse moving too slowly

A new report, Building the Northern Powerhouse: Next Steps for Transformation, is calling on Government to dramatically accelerate the realisation of the Northern Powerhouse.

Prepared by leading businesses with an interest in the North West, the report sets out four steps that it sees as essential to progress:

- Existing government commitments and promises to be urgently locked-in and progressed.

-  Extend full fiscal autonomy to key northern cities.

-  Work with UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to drive productivity amongst northern business.

-  A more collaborative North, utilising technology to achieve this.

Richard Green, Director – Design, Planning & Economics, AECOM, one of the report’s sponsors, said: “Foreign direct investment will be key to realising the aims of the Northern Powerhouse, as public funding alone is unlikely to be sufficient. Investors don’t back regions – they invest in opportunities likely to earn a good return. The North must therefore compete on merit with projects in many other countries.

“To attract investment, the Northern Powerhouse must offer a clear, balanced vision that recognises the importance of its core cities and wider Trans-Pennine hinterland. This will be achieved with well-articulated development plans leading to long-term gains. A strong focus on protecting the unique quality of place and building the region’s skills will be vital to securing the desired outcomes for investors and for future generations in the North.”

Chairman of the Rail in the North All Party Parliamentary Group and MP for Colne Valley, West Yorkshire, said Jason McCartney added: “It is great to see this private sector initiative responding to the Chancellor`s plan to promote wealth creation across the North. Rebalancing the UK economy in the face of challenging global market conditions will play a key part un underwriting the nation`s future prosperity”.