Manchester City Council

The March of the North

The new Northern Powerhouse Partnership held the first of a series of seminars it is hosting across the North of England in Manchester yesterday. The attendees were predominantly from the private sector and will be part of not only maintaining the impetus for major investment in the North's transport infrastructure but also supporting the growth sectors identified in the Northern Economic Review and ensuring our populations are acquiring the skills to contribute to and benefit from those growth sectors.

Earlier in the week I'd spoken at the National Rail Conference about rail development in and around Manchester. In this context it is great to see ( at last ) the finishing touches being put to the Metrolink second city crossing. Sometimes I think we undervalue what we have achieved over the past twelve years, since government cancelled Metrolink Big Bang, in tripling the size of our light rail network. There are more trams and tramlines to come the bigger push now is with heavy rail, HS2, platform improvements at Oxford Road and Salford Central stations, platforms 14 &15 at Piccadilly, Leeds-Manchester electrification, and ultimately a new four track ( freight and passengers ) trans-Pennine line connecting Liverpool via Manchester and HS2 to Leeds and Sheffield and the towns and cities beyond.

The following day I spoke at the Innovate UK conference at Manchester Central, talking about how we support innovation clusters, with a number of examples range from north of England wide ones to CityVerve, our internet of things demonstrator project coming to life in Corridor Manchester. Similar themes but a very different audience, later in the day I had a really stimulating hour or so talking with the GMCVO annual meeting about northern powerhouse, devomanc, and the contribution the voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector can make.

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

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