17 Mar 2016
Earlier this week I attended an event at Nissan's vast manufacturing plant in Sunderland. The event was entitled Doing Business with the Northern Powerhouse and it was attended by various northern-based companies, public sector officials and visitors from overseas including from China, India, the Netherlands and the US.
The key message that I took from the event was that overseas companies and investors find the Northern Powerhouse a compelling and attractive proposition. They can now point to the UK and see beyond London, they can see another credible region within the UK that offers scale, skills, resources and opportunity. I thought this was really interesting especially when it's considered that, to date, the Northern Powerhouse has been little more than a branding exercise. It seems the branding is starting to work!
Northern Powerhouse, devolution, much needed infrastructure investments, pan-Northern transport strategy, etc, etc.... I think we're living in an historic moment in the history of Northern England. I'm very pleased to hear talk of the major cities making commitments to work together and forget the parochialism of the past. This is the only way that the opportunities can be grasped.
I'm looking forward to doing my little bit to support enterprise within the Northern Powerhouse.
"Leaders of the five "core" cities in the North have pledged to put aside old rivalries by signing a commitment to work together so that newly devolved powers are used in a "coherent, collaborative way". It comes as the region enters the 'second phase' of the Northern Powerhouse agenda. The council leaders of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield have pledged to work with the government to look at what more can be done to tackle key challenges across a number of specific policy areas. The signatories of the statement have also committed to working together to ensure the North has "the skills, housing and enterprise development base to support growth". The agreement follows a number of devolution deals being signed across northern England, as well as the creation of Transport for the North." Read more.