Northern Powerhouse Powering Ahead Again

Northern Powerhouse Powering Ahead Again

05th April 2017

In August of last year we ran an article on the Northern Powerhouse, the government’s bid to boost economic growth in the North of England, particularly in the “Core Cities” of Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle.  We’re based in Sheffield at the very heart of the UK’s steel and access industries, relying on the strength of British steel to fabricate robust access solutions for our customers in the UK and overseas, so we have a vested interest in keeping up to date with progress when it comes to the Northern Powerhouse.  In the wake of the Brexit vote, new Prime Minster Theresa May seemed to demote the Northern Powerhouse and industry insiders became worried that the initiative would quietly become a cog in the government’s new industrial strategy, rather than a vital focal point.  Today’s update brings better news for the construction industry north of the North-South Divide, demonstrating that the Northern Powerhouse remains a key component of the government’s economic strategy.

To start with, there’s a plan in place which includes a £3.4 billion worth of Local Growth Deals to boost regional growth which is great news.  The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is the fruit of a collaboration between ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North West, Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley and the British Business Bank and will provide more than £400 million to boost the growth of SMEs in the North of England. 

What’s more, at the beginning of May Greater Manchester residents will have the option to vote for a new Combined Authority Mayor of the West Midlands who will take control of almost a billion pounds of new funding over the next thirty years which is to be used to grow the local economy.

The Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Andrew Percy claims that it’s “firing on all cylinders” after the addition of eight new partners (including Santander, Ernst & Young and Eversheds) bringing the total of organisations which have pledged to be Northern Powerhouse Partners to 90.  This investment by major business is great news for the future of the Northern Powerhouse.  Mr. Percy assured the public that the government is committed to supporting the North of England so that it can reach its full potential and says that there has never been a more important time for industry, government and communicates to work together to ensure a brighter future in the North.  The Partner Network aims to work as a forum for decision makers to engage with enterprise and community on further opportunities to support innovation, growth and skills development across the North of England.

The Northern Powerhouse was pioneered by George Osborne with the intention of repositioning the British economy away from London and the South East, in the wake of the Brexit vote, industry insiders expressed concern as the focus on the Northern Powerhouse seemed to diminish so today’s news is welcome for businesses in the North of England.