What obstacles to growth continue to challenge the area and what changes could help the Northern Powerhouse reach its potential?

Brock Carmichael has been a contributor to North West Business Insider’s ‘Talking Property’ section for over 2 years now. We are asked for our opinions every month on a range of topics. This was November’s. 

John Cassell, Partner

The Northern Powerhouse aims to boost the North and redress the North South divide by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture for business growth and efficiency. Introduced in 2014 it identified that London ‘s GVA is growing at twice the rate of the North’s and therefore provides an easier case to invest in infrastructure there.

Since then delays and over spend infrastructure projects at Heathrow and Crossrail for example, are making it difficult for critical projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 to get off the ground. But we’ve successes here to call on, the Mersey Gateway Bridge, MediaCityUK, Liverpool Waterfront, NewcastleGateshead Quayside and Leeds City Centre regeneration to name a few.

Digital access and new working practices should enable us to be less London centric and gain enhanced work-life balances. Nearly every other world country has more than one city of major significance to world economies increasing resilience and working together for the country it inhabits.

Infrastructure investment made in the North can make a bigger, more positive impact for growth up here. Projects across the North should not be held back by the South East’s failure to deliver.”

Michael Cosser, Partner

Bold plans by our forefathers led to some of the World’s finest buildings in Northern Cities and innovative civil engineering skills and knowledge across the world. We exported high building technology to Chicago and more shipping trade passed through Liverpool from the US than the rest of the country put together last century.

But things change. Greater Manchester now boasts the largest number of digital workers in the UK outside of London and our jobs growth in the North West is only 1% below London. Transport spending in the north has increased by £149 per person in real terms, but this is less than half the £330 per person increase in London. We are retaining more graduates and recent investment by Huawei, in a new office in MediaCityUK shows that inward investment, with high tech jobs, is coming.

Looking forward, next generation technology alongside 5G will offer massive opportunities and impact our northern cities and the towns and villages that serve them over the next decade. We need the infrastructure, working and living environments to attract and retain the brightest talent.

Let’s turn bold plans into action.”