ICE sets out Northern Powerhouse plan
The Institution of Civil Engineers will hand over its report, ‘Delivering a Northern Infrastructure Strategy’, to the metro mayors of Liverpool, Manchester and Tees Valley today, with the empowerment of Transport for the North among its recommendations.
An event has been convened at the Capital in Liverpool’s Old Hall Street. Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram has been invited to receive the report and will speak at the event. Richard Threlfall, the report’s lead author and chairman of ICE’s Northern Powerhouse steering group, will also speak, along with Ed Cox, director of IPPR North.
Threlfall, who is also KPMG’s national head of infrastructure, building and construction, said: “We need to take control of our own destiny, set up the institutions to co-ordinate a one-North approach and invest in best in class infrastructure and skills. The North was once the powerhouse of the world. It can be again. But only if we believe in it and work together to make it happen.”
ICE North West regional director Darrell Matthews added: “For the Northern Powerhouse to succeed it needs a clear strategy for planning and delivering high performing infrastructure.
“By approaching infrastructure in the North in a coordinated strategic manner and providing the foundation for productive economic activity we can not only allow the region to flourish but also help to rebalance the UK’s economy and benefit the entire nation.”
The recommendations included in the report are as follows:
- The creation of a Council of the North with representation of LEPs alongside metro mayors and leaders of local authorities, to oversee the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse vision.
- A northern infrastructure strategy to ensure the North’s balanced growth and improved productivity.
- A northern spatial plan to guide and co-ordinate integrated infrastructure development.
- The provision of coordinated lifelong learning and development to ensure the North has the future skills required by employers, and to deliver its infrastructure investment programme.
- Central government should increase the level of infrastructure investment and empower Transport for the North to determine transport investment priorities, in an attempt to kickstart the North’s economic.
- Central government should devolve sufficient revenue raising and borrowing powers so the North can fund growth from its own resources.
- The North must adopt a more proactive and ambitious approach to encouraging private investment.
- The North should fully develop its specialisations in renewables and new energy technologies to maintain its position as the country’s energy powerhouse.
- Transport for the North must develop programmes that enhance network integration and connectivity, enable economic development and ensure that the region is ready for the arrival of HS2.
- Transport for the North should champion the adoption of new technologies in both passenger and freight transport, including the digital railway, autonomous vehicles and mobility as a service.
- The North must acquire and maintain best in class digital infrastructure with complete geographic coverage to unlock economic growth and enhance the delivery of infrastructure services across the region.
- To address the North’s housing shortage, local authorities should put in place standard approaches to assessing needs and have access to flexible funding arrangements for new developments.