Northern Powerhouse leaders publish business plan

An economic review into the Northern Powerhouse commissioned by Transport for the North has called for a “step-change in investment”, to support plans to increase productivity in the North by £97bn over the next 30 years.

The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review, drafted prior to the EU referendum and published today, identifies the capabilities which could provide the foundations for closing the North/South gap in productivity, generating new jobs and enhancing global competitiveness.

The review says that digital technologies, health innovation, energy and advanced manufacturing have the potential to transform the North’s economy, adding £97bn and 850,000 jobs by 2050. These sectors already account for 30% of the North’s jobs.

John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North, said: “This review clearly identifies that, if the right investment and focus is put into these capabilities, and the infrastructure is there to support them, then 1.56m new jobs could be generated by 2050. Close to a million (850,000) of these will be directly attributable to the success of the Northern Powerhouse and we would expect productivity to be 15% higher than currently which, in itself would represent a major step-change for the North.”

Northern Powerhouse capabilities map

Report includes map of locations of key asset’s supporting the North’s prime capabilities

“This review will be fundamental for future planning. Central to powering the North’s future economy will be an efficient high capacity transport network capable of fully mobilising the workforce between the Norths key economic heartlands. The review clearly identifies that such a network must be tailored and shaped to recognise emerging and sustainable strengths whilst acknowledging that many Northern jobs are in other service sector businesses on every Northern high street. In addition to this, improved education will also be vital in northern schools to give young people the chance to go for better jobs using the improved transport links we are delivering.”

He said that, to achieve such a change, including transport interventions such as a major new road or rail routes, “a step-change in investment strategy is required and long-term collaboration between key partners across the North, and with Government and national agencies, will be essential if our joint ambitions are to be realised.”

Transport for the North, the new body that will have statutory authority for long term transport investment strategy in the North, commissioned the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review to provide a picture of the economic landscape of the North in a national and global context, and identify opportunities.

The North currently produces £4,800 less Gross Value Added per person each year and more than £22,000 less per person than London, despite containing twice as many people as London.

The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review was formally launched to business leaders and public officials during Liverpool’s International Festival for Business.

Speaking at the event, Lord Jim O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “This review represents a hugely important milestone for the Northern Powerhouse and supports this government’s commitment to rebalance the economy.

“As the Chancellor has said, the referendum result is even more of an instruction to deliver on our work to build a Northern Powerhouse and so it is hugely encouraging that the region’s leaders are working together to set out their long term priorities. We will continue to work together to make the North an even better place to live, work and invest in and remind the world that the region is open for business.”

To view the full report visit

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Great to see TfN thinking strategically across the whole of the North – just need to get local planning authorities to do the same!

By TEM Planning

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