Rachel Anderson, assistant director of policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce.
Matthew Neville

Northshoring: Levelling a playing field

The practice of Northshoring has its apparent benefits, but the discussion of whether or not the North has seen significant enough infrastructural regeneration in order to attract Southern businesses to make the move is another matter entirely.

Speaking with Rachel Anderson, assistant director of policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce, the significance of regenerating Northern infrastructure was made wholly clear.

In particular, the necessity of bolstering education in the North could lead to a much greater number of companies shifting their operations North. Rachel said: “Our educational attainment has to be brought up to match elsewhere. We need to bring up the best teachers, and be able to retain graduates in the area.”

When asked about the key differences between working in education in the North and South, Rachel continued: “It’s less about a job and more about a career. We can offer that, and make it both financially and personally rewarding. It’s about making people aware of the opportunities up North.”

Beyond the realm of education, Rachel also emphasised the importance of transport infrastructure when making the North an appealing option for businesses. “Certainly focus needs to be put on the rail network”.

This convenience of transport has only become more essential in a post-pandemic working landscape. Rachel notes: “Hybrid working does pay economic dividends”, and so workers now seek jobs which are more simple and efficient in respect of commuting.

Moreover, Rachel highlights a unique advantage of the North’s transport infrastructure, that being the many ports: “Encouraging a greater use of ports is essential, particularly with the North’s access to offshore production.”

Ultimately, Northshoring can only grow in regularity as a business practice if local infrastructure has been equipped to support it. Rachel added: “It’s about levelling a playing field to make those choices easier for companies and investors.”

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