Manchester City Council

Global Significance

In a couple of weeks time I will be joining a Trade Mission to China which will at least in part be promoting trade and investment opportunities in the North of England. Notwithstanding an element of scepticism regarding Northern Powerhouse, particularly since the " pausing " of Leeds-Manchester electrification, the idea does seem to have captured the imagination elsewhere, and that's something we have to get the maximum mileage out of. To do this one problem to be overcome is that since the days of the Northern Way nobody has done any work on what are the pan-northern economic strengths and opportunities.

Yesterday I hosted a meeting of local authority leaders and LEP chairs from across the north and we were joined by Treasury Minister Jim O'Neill, who gave us his perspective on the economic prospects for the north acting as a ( virtual ) single economic unit. There was a really good discussion with some key messages not least that of the need to collaborate across the region rather than pretend we are in competition with each other. Transport for the North are about to commission an independent economic analysis of the north and the meeting agreed to piggy-back on that work to identify elements of the Northern economy that are both pan-Northern and have the scale and depth to be globally significant.

There are some obvious candidates, for example Advanced Manufacturing, Health and Life Sciences, Energy and Low Carbon, and Logistics. There may be others that emerge from the study but if we are going to successfully promote the North, we need an economic narrative that does more than claim world-class status for some of our industrial sectors but also has the evidence to back it up. The aim is to have that evidence in place before the end of the calender year.

There are 2 responses to “Global Significance”

  1. Anon Says:

    I'd suggest adding sustainable urban development. The North is way ahead of the South East on this, despite what some London consultants claim. Esp include Todmorden, Bradford, etc as well as bigger cities. An example is local food sourcing for international cuisine - Preston, Rusholme, Chinatown, etc etc. The food economy is much more than agriculture, logistics and supermarkets. Quality food is a niche, and sustainably sourced locally.

  2. Corbyn for PM Says:

    Forgive the (justified) cynicism about "deals" with a government that are doing their level best to destroy the public sector...but come on...the "Northern powerhouse" tag line.....its up there with "Big Society" as a completely meaningless sound bite ...a huge number of Labour voters knew pre-election that the Tories had little or no intention of seriously "helping" the North become as prosperous as the South-Maggie never did,and why should they now?Lets face it-their voter base is virtually non existent in places like Manchester and so many other major Northern cities....pretty much everyone except those in the suits sat grinning with George at their Town Hall photo opportunity could predict that they would drag their feet and move the goalposts over every financial aspect of the deal- then ultimately blame the Labour council in the right wing media for being "unable to balance the books"after looking at the "small print"..surely the alarm bells must be ringing loud and clear already if they can't even agree something relatively simple like the shiny new "exclusive train for the really important future of the city business types that's going to get them too and from London a bit quicker" sorted-Doesn't exactly inspire confidence about the stuff that really matters to the rest of us serfs.....?Roll on Corbyn,a man who will take on and challenge the Tories- rather than do "deals" with them.



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

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