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Rt Hon George Osborne MP hosts first Northern Powerhouse Partnership roundtable

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), an independent body established to represent the voice of major business and civic leaders across the North, will today hold the first in a series of roundtable ‘evidence gathering’ events.

The roundtables will be taking place across the North with today’s being held in Manchester and led by the Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP. The roundtables will help to start develop consensus amongst prominent business and public sector organisations on the issues and priorities that will enable the NPP to drive transformational change throughout the Northern economy.

The NPP is an independent not-for-profit partnership which launched in September 2016 with a business-led board, including representatives from key Northern companies including Manchester Airports Group (MAG), Mace, Barclays and Associated British Ports. In addition, the Board also includes political representation from across the region.

Today, the NPP welcomes Siemens, HSBC, EY, Addleshaw Goddard and Bruntwood to the Board, with these organisations expected to play an important role in providing insight and evidence to drive the Partnership forward.

The Board companies have all agreed a financial contribution to the NPP and representatives from these businesses will be in attendance at the roundtables, with initial events scheduled to occur in 2016 in Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool, with further engagement planned across the North in 2017.

The Rt Hon George Osborne MP, said: "Since the Northern Powerhouse Partnership was launched in September this year I have, frankly, been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response we have received from business and civic leaders right across the North. We've made more progress than I could have possibly hoped for.

"In the next two months, I'm going to set out, with the Partnership, to visit cities across the North - from Liverpool to Leeds, Newcastle to Sheffield and Manchester - to listen to businesses and local leaders. It's just a start of the engagement with communities right across the region.

"Chairing this Partnership is now the major focus of my political energies. These roundtable events will enable the Northern Powerhouse Partnership to begin to develop a consensus across the North about the common ideas which we can work closely with national government on and improve the economy and quality of life for people in the North.

"I am also pleased to welcome the new members to our Board. It's a real vote of confidence in our Northern Powerhouse Partnership. These are not only major global businesses - they are some of the largest employers in the North and I feel confident that the expertise we have sat around the table will enable the NPP to promote some fresh and innovative thinking into issues that will really make a difference here in the north."

Steve Gillingham, director of the north at Mace, one of the founding members of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Having delivered major infrastructure and development schemes across the north of England for more than 20 years we know how investment in infrastructure is crucial for opening up clogged arterial routes and developing much needed technical skills.

 

“Delivering transformational infrastructure projects like HS2, HS3 and the trans-Pennine tunnel are critical for improving the region’s opportunities and prosperity by ensuring that blood pumps to all the economic muscles of the north.

 

“The first meeting of the NPP comes at a critical time. Following the vote to leave the EU it is now more important than ever that the private and public sector come together with one voice to provide the expertise and long-term commitment needed to create an economic powerhouse in the north. As the new government prepares to set out its vision of an industrial strategy which promotes growth across the whole of the UK, it is vitally important that we in the north make our voices heard to ensure the Northern Powerhouse becomes a reality."


Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens UK, said:
"We are absolutely committed to the Northern Powerhouse because it represents a genuine growth opportunity for some of the most dynamic cities in the UK. We see great opportunities for the region to develop world beating infrastructure, as well attract inward investment for key industries. Working with the NPP we also hope to raise awareness for some of the new digital prospects across the north, something that will become increasingly important for the manufacturing sector."

Miles Rothbury, Global Relationship Director, HSBC, said: "As an organisation with a deep heritage in the North of England and our established networks of people and business relationships, we are delighted to be developing this further through our participation in the NPP. The collective spirit and energy from all the participants is impressive, and we look forward to working with the NPP and its wider stakeholders to help the Northern economy achieve even greater future success together."

Stephen Church, partner at EY in the North West said: "We believe that business has a major part to play in making the Northern Powerhouse work. We know that the concept is already a very attractive proposition for businesses, both within the region and internationally. We are seen to have strong leadership and a good track record for delivering on our intentions. To keep the momentum going it is crucial that we continue to work closely together, across both the public and private sectors, and demonstrate the strengths this region has to offer to the wider community. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership is an excellent example of how this can work in practice and we are very pleased to be playing an active part."

John Joyce, Managing Partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: "As lawyers, our day-to-day work is focused on helping businesses find solutions for challenges they face. We see the Northern Powerhouse in the same way. It’s a solution that will enable us to better coordinate resources and investment. This can only happen with the full weight of private and public sector coming together. The role of professional services firms like ours must be to leverage our wider networks, ensuring that the many global investors we work with daily recognise the myriad benefits of deploying capital in the North, helping Britain build a more balanced and sustainable economic future."

Chris Oglesby, Chief Executive of Bruntwood, said: "Throughout its 40 year history, Bruntwood has worked with public and private sector partners on the regeneration of the great city regions of the North of England. Individually, each has come a long way, however it is by working collectively that we see them realising their full potential in future. The formation of the NPP as another important step in ensuring this happens and we are therefore delighted to support it."