Northern Powerhouse minister hails an economy "as big as Belgium"

Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy has issued a rallying cry for the north of England ahead of his appearance at a major conference to discuss the region’s prospects.

Percy, who will give a keynote speech at the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition in Manchester next week, said that the government was investing billions of pounds into northern businesses. “The Northern Powerhouse is home to more than 15 million people and one million businesses, seven international airports and some of the world's top universities,” said Percy. “Our economy was worth £316 billion in 2015 - similar to the whole of Belgium - but we want to go further.

“That's why we’re investing billions of pounds to back businesses in the north and create an economy that works for everyone. I look forward to continuing to work with local leaders to ensure the North goes from strength to strength,” he said.

The UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition is supported by business leaders from across the major cities of the north. It will include interactive sessions with top firms such as Nissan, Yorkshire Bank and Lufthansa, as well as the Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses. International delegations are expected from India and China.

The conference is the biggest cross-sectoral gathering of northern businesses in the UK. It will be held in Manchester Central on 21 and 22 February and is expected to attract more than 3,000 delegates over two days.

Topics being addressed during the conference include manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, finance and delivery, devolution, competitiveness and productivity and energy. 

Infrastructure Intelligence readers can get a 25% discount off ticket prices for the event by entering the special discount code infraintel25% when booking tickets via the conference website.  

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