Manchester City Council

Northern (Power) House(s)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech in Manchester yesterday got headline coverage around the idea of a virtual supercity of the North.

The idea of improved transport links between northern cities leading to the economic benefits of agglomeration is not new.  In the last decade the Northern Way initiative in particular did a lot of very positive work on the economic necessity of improved transpennine links, linked into a new high-speed railway. Some improvements are happening.  The Northern Hub work and the electrification of key routes are important steps forward, as long as we get the rolling stock to make use of the new capacity created.  However it still won't be enough.  In the last few months I've convened a meeting of city leaders from across the North to talk about transport investment for the north, and the five Combined Authorities are supporting a piece of work, led by Transport for Greater Manchester, to try and develop an investment plan running from now to 2030 that the whole of the north can get behind.  If journey times can be reduced sufficiently we will get enormous economic benefit.  We can and should do a lot to improve the existing infrastructure but ultimately we will need a new line connecting Leeds and Sheffield and places beyond including Hull, Hull docks and Newcastle with Manchester and Manchester Airport and Liverpool and Liverpool docks.  Compared to say London 's cross-link, such a new line is both realistic and affordable and the North should have the ambition and drive to make sure it happens.

Closer to home, this morning we announced Manchester Life, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi United Group, the owners of Manchester City and the City Council, which aims to invest up to a £billion in new housing for East Manchester over the next ten years.  When ADUG bought the football club they committed not only to building MCFC as a successful club and a global brand, but also to strengthening an already impressive track record of community involvement and to supporting the regeneration of East Manchester .  The new training facility and the adjacent Leisure Centre, Sixth-Form College and Sports Health Science Centre, all under construction, are already testament to honouring that commitment.  The Manchester Life investment takes it to a whole new level.  It's a commercial deal but a commercial deal based on trust and commitment to the city which will give unprecedented investment in and impetus to the renewal of the east of our city.



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There are 3 responses to “Northern (Power) House(s)”

  1. Stephen Round Says:

    Nothing of any positive value escapes from Londons grasp it's time for an English Parliament right here in that invisible SuperCity between the Mersey and the Humber. London isn't going to give us anything worth having lets make a new England here in the Centre of England and dump the South!

  2. CB Says:

    All for better public transport and a far batter connected north but the argument always talks about speed but rarely mentions cost. I commute from Mcr to Liverpool on the train everyday, by all means these lines and service could be sped up and improved but I pay well over £2.5k a year for this. No point in great infrastructure if the majority are priced out of it.

  3. i love jack russels Says:

    I don't particularly want Scotland to leave the UK BUT I wish north west and north east could go with scotland if they do go - form a new Scotland and the Northern Regions country. We suffer from the same toxic effects of being ruled by tory governments that serve only the home counties and that we never voted for as scotland suffer from. And if we go - we take the fracking gas !



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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