The Northern Powerhouse Strategy: A Peek into the Government's Game Plan
The government released its Northern Powerhouse strategy on 23rd November 2016. The detailed document describes how the government will improve productivity in the North by working with local stakeholders.
In terms of productivity, the North has fallen behind compared to other areas of the country. The government aims to change this and invest in the North to reveal the great opportunities on offer here.
George Osborne developed the idea for a Northern Powerhouse, which would include a bright and booming economy, a highly trained population, and a thriving private sector. This financial powerhouse would produce benefits for the whole of the UK.
Below are the main points of the government's strategy to create the Northern Powerhouse.
The government will invest in transport structure to improve connections between major cities and smaller towns. They will work on enhancing motorways, roads, and train lines to ensure smoother journeys and shorter travel times to allow people to work farther afield and increase job opportunities.
Projects that have begun include reducing travel times between Manchester and Leeds on Trans-Pennine trains and developing the M1 to turn into a smart motorway between J32 and J35A.
To further grow the Northern economy, a highly educated and capable workforce is required. The government is dedicated to increasing educational standards and improving skill and ability levels throughout the North. Skilled workers will help the Northern Powerhouse prosper.
The government have launched a Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy and pledged £70 million for improvements to education in the North.
From 2018/19 Northern Mayors will have control of the Adult Education Budget, meaning they can spend this money where it is required in the local area.
The government want to continue to make the North a great place for business, research, and innovation. The North houses many centres that are leading the way in scientific merit and has more than 20 universities.
To expand on this, the government aim to open 17 Enterprise Zones and will continue to invest in Northern business, with the £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund confirmed to be invested in small local businesses.
Northern Powerhouse Opportunities
The government want to ensure that the Northern Powerhouse is identified as a fantastic place to conduct business and that there are many opportunities for overseas investors. More people are investing in the North and to help this continue the government has granted £15 million to assist Northern Powerhouse trade missions and £7 million to form a Northern Powerhouse Investment Taskforce.
For more detailed information on the strategy click here to view the full document.