Northern Powerhouse ‘firing on all cylinders’ as 8 new partners back scheme
Minister Andrew Percy believes that the Northern Powerhouse is ‘firing on all cylinders’, following the addition of eight new partners.
Pioneered by George Osborne, the government-run initiative to improve productivity and economic output in the North was very much the former Chancellor’s baby.
What future the idea would have under Theresa May’s government, and in the discourse of her Industrial Strategy, had been unclear for a long time in the wake of Brexit.
Yet the government reportedly remains committed to the concept, expressing its delight in a wave of new organisations pledging to create jobs, attract investment and support innovation in the North.
Including recent recruits Santander, Ernst & Young and Eversheds LLP, almost 90 leading organisations have now pledged to be Northern Powerhouse Partners, according to Minister Percy.
Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “From Siemens to Vodafone, the investment being made by major businesses is further proof that the Northern Powerhouse economy is firing on all cylinders.
“We’re determined to support this region so that it reaches its full potential. Now we’ve got the backing of almost 90 different organisations, which is absolutely vital to securing the economic future of the North for years to come.”
Rob Mukherjee, Director of Regional Business, North West, at Vodafone UK, added: “Vodafone is pleased to be hosting the first Spring Summit for Northern Powerhouse Partners and have the opportunity to work alongside other organisations committed to helping the region go from strength to strength.
“There’s never been a more important time for industry, government and communities to work together. The Partner Network is providing an excellent forum for us to hear from and engage with communities and enterprises on further opportunities to support growth, innovation and skills development across the region.”
The eight new Northern Powerhouse Partners are:
Newcastle Gateshead Initiative;
Hull City of Culture;
Northern Powerhouse Partnership; and
Ernst & Young
How the government plans to build a Northern Powerhouse
As aforementioned, the Powerhouse remains a key part of government economic strategy, despite the concept being less popularised in May’s government compared to Cameron’s.
Plans to realise the vision include a £3.4bn worth of Local Growth Deals to boost regional growth across, as well as a Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund which comprises of £400m of support to small businesses.
Moreover, the government says that devolution deals are ‘putting power in the hands of local people’.
On 4 May, residents across Greater Manchester will also have the chance to vote for a new Combined Authority Mayor. The new Mayor will have control of almost £1 billion new funding over 30 years to grow the local economy. However, devolution has halted in the North East.
The eight new Northern Powerhouse Partners will join existing champions including Barclays, Siemens and Vodafone in Manchester to discuss how the Northern Powerhouse strategy can be furthered.
Part of this will include using the new Northern Powerhouse Partners Network, used to help encourage businesses to focus on their key strengths and areas for development across the North – from connectivity and culture to skills and science.
What do you think? Why not tell us what the Northern Powerhouse means to you in the comments section below?
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