CBRE’s five-point Northern Powerhouse test

Cities in the North are increasingly proving they have what it takes to rise to the challenge of the Northern Powerhouse initiative but, outside Manchester, they lack the quality of leadership required to handle devolution, according to Andrew Marston, national research director at CBRE.

Speaking to an invited audience of property people this morning at a market insight briefing held at Bridgewater Hall, Marston set out “five crucial factors for success” of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. They are:

  • Infrastructure-driven growth: especially important the link between cities, which Marston conceded was a long-term objective
  • Global capital seeking yield: UK property represents an attractive destination for overseas investment, illustrated this week with announcements during Osborne’s trip to China
  • Talent and new sectors: graduate retention is getting healthier in the North as the soaring cost of living in London spells a new phase for regional cities, where young professionals are less likely to head south. Initiatives in digital and creative sectors, such as new Tech North quango, will help
  • Place-making and quality of life: Northern cities are improving their cultural offer and investing in their centres, making themselves more attractive to occupiers
  • Leadership through devolution: only Greater Manchester, said Marston, shows the co-operation between local authorities required to form a successful combined authority and convince Government to devolve power. Birmingham and Yorkshire authorities are getting there, he added.

In the Q&A after the presentations Marston said poor civic leadership and the inability of councils to work together was the main weakness currently holding back Northern city regions. That and the long-term challenge of infrastructure investment to bring road and rail to the speed and capacity needed to properly join up cities.

Also presenting was William Church, investment director at CBRE, and fund manager of the North West Evergreen fund.

CBRE is due to publish a research paper on the Northern Powerhouse by the end of the year.

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The reason why we are still lagging behind is transport infrastructure. Why is Manchester doing better than the rest? Better transport.Only when we people are treated with the same respect re-investment as the South East will we prosper.Governments of all colours need to start putting their money where their mouths are.

By Elephant

Liverpool has the strongest international brand despite Manchester’s airport, and its transport, with a bit more investment, can easily catch up with Manchester’s trams. Culturally Liverpool is ahead of the pack. Leadership in city is improving, and if, as seems likely now, the City Region’s leaders bury their differences and speak with one voice, it will stand a great chance of being up there with the best. Andrew Marston was speaking in Manchester.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

Couldn’t agree more Paul. I still think all of this talk of a cultural renaissance in Manchester is bluster – for its size, Manchester’s cultural offering is poor. Compare the number and scale of summer events in Liverpool with those in Manchester.

In terms of transport, Liverpool has a fantastic (and long-established) foundation in Merseyrail, which is often overlooked. A new line and some additional stations in and around the centre would be transformative. Combine this with improved links across the rest of the north and you’ve got the start of what might reasonably be called a “Powerhouse”.

By scrub

When all cities are treated equally in the North, they will all benefit, unfortunately they are not and one is more chosen than the others.
Infrastructure growth is highlighted, yet when Liverpool wanted to create a MRT, system we were denied, yet other cities were okayed..
As far as I am concerned and fellow members of the business community, we are effectively held back by constant decisions and policies made by central government to the detriment of Liverpool,no wonder there is a sub culture of isolationism emerging from the city again.
Liverpool has and always been a cultural leader.. yet the smoke and mirrors from “media” sources do not publish it as much.
Liverpool is crying out for HS2 and HS3, but will we ever see the final product reaching us in the same capacity as other cities?

By Man on bicycle

Leeds has poor transport and yet has attracted far more private investment than Liverpool and has far better job prospects. Liverpool needs to stop playing the victim and start getting things don like the rest of the North has to.

By yarrum

I don’y agree, and once again people from outside telling us what to do, it is not about being a “victim” we find that phrase very insulting, especially of now.
I have no problem with all the other cities, it’s government policy.
During the election, not one senior member of the three main parties set foot in Liverpool, shows their committment and attiude to us.

By Man on bicycle

Manchester is about to boom again and this is for a number of reasons. Sport (not just football), Entertainment (BBC / ITV), better transport, better location with Liverpool, Leeds & Sheffield less than an hour, Birmingham 60 mins and London 120. 3rd biggest UK Airport, largest student population in Europe and 3rd on list of UK most visited tourist cities.

And look at the investment pouring in: NOMA (£800m), Manchester Airport new terminal (£1bn), Airport City (£800m), St Johns Quarter (£1.5bn), the Graphene Hub and Salford now flexing it’s muscles with Middlewood Locks (£1.2bn) Greengate (£500m), New Bailey and other large developments. Manchester city council have managed to attract major investment during the tougher period and were the first northern city to take control of it’s own finances. With a number of these schemes now attracting Chinese, Middle East and other foreign investment, this is proof that the city is truly international and a long way in front of it’s northern counterparts. Yes I’m a Mancunian. What.

By TheReal

sorry correction – Middlewood Locks is ‘only’ £750m.

Also I forgot to mention Arts, culture, tech and much more but you get the drift…

By TheReal

Goodluck to Manchester and the rest of the North, we just ask to be treated on an equal basis.
As I said, HS2/HS3 etc.
Our beef is not with the North, but politicians who determine our futures, anyway that’s all from me on this, We’ll keep on trying to make our city a success, no matter what obstacles are in our way..

By Man on bicycle

Why has this turned into slagging session between Manchester and Liverpool.Both cities have their qualities and both have appalling social problems.We need to start working together,both Liverpool and Manchester,plus Leeds and Sheffield,to make this work.This your Dad’s bigger than my Dad tripe,is really rather pathetic.Whilst people are wittering on that Anfield is better than Old Trafford,London powers on.

By Elephant

I don’t think we should be blaming central gov, more the quality of Liverpool’s civic leaders in failing to secure investment for Liverpool. We are not well represented, certainly not as well as Manchester. We have too many parochial representatives, without the national and global experience needed to attract investment, impress central gov, and lead a global city. We should look from within before blaming others.

By Lpool Lass

Leadership in Liverpool is definitely improving. Liverpool is a very interesting place and the culture/quality of life factor will go along way in the future. Manchester’s also a great place with a lot of qualities that are quite different to Liverpool. It is the centre of a great northern hub. But Manchester should accept Liverpool as it is with all of its aspirations and dreams. Liverpool was the second city of Empire and it still shows in the cultural and urban legacy. Liverpool was the first global city as Manchester was the first industrial city. Manchester should not feel threatened as Liverpool’s profile rises again. Liverpool has a lot to offer the whole of the north west and Manchester included.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

Calm down Tiger …

The NPH is exactly that … underpinned by a performing Mcr and Liverpool … the region is better off and therefore so are we as business people or citizens of our own fair cities …

Liverpool has its problems as does Manchester, homlessness, begging and rough sleeping are at biblical proportions in the City Centre but no one wants to acknowledge it … the economy is buoyant but unemployment remains high … remember the Bench Hill ward in Wythenshaw was the number 1 worst performing ward in the UK until it was gerrymandered out of existence by the Council because they could not accept that as a fact … that was some years ago and my point … just because it’s not talked about doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist …

and as for Liverpool … still punches below its weigh economically and yes some of the infrastructure needs to be updated (I do like the idea of reopening some of the lost stations on the underground and on the Northern Line especially around the Baltic area) but the foundations are there for a true renaissance … but we must tackle the North of the City Centre and Peel Holdings have a critical role to play in and around the Central Docks area … as do Everton Football Club … but now I am really dreaming …

By Norman Davies

I’m all for cooperation between Liv and Manc, but 20 yrs in the NHS have taught me that what starts as cooperation almost always ends up as an attempt at annexation by Manc (“my unit’s bigger than yours, so you should send all the interesting stuff to me” etc.). Unfortunately, for all the talk of a Northern Powerhouse, the LCR will have to stand on its own two feet and fight for its share of central government investment on a per-capita basis.

By Moomo