Northern Powerhouse

Power on and deliver

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in focus on the 'Northern Powerhouse' helping the north to realise the agglomeration effects seen in London and south-east England. Mace is a founding member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, playing an instrumental role in developing this vision.

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Developing the Northern Powerhouse

Our local knowledge and expertise is supporting the development of major infrastructure in the region: managing smart motorways and key rail interfaces; supporting nuclear new-build and decommissioning opportunities; implementing key utilities programmes; and delivering regeneration programmes including Greater Manchester’s new transport infrastructure and the redevelopment of the University of Manchester’s business school.

We are investing in and developing the skills required for the next generation.

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The key to creating a Northern Powerhouse

Develop a programme of transport and infrastructure investment

As a founding member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, we understand the importance of maintaining the momentum of devolution as a key plank of the industrial strategy that will allow the great cities of the north of England become a powerful force for economic growth. These cities need to coalesce quickly around a collaborative model of engagement - their first task should be to develop and prioritise a single programme of transport and infrastructure projects that forms the conditions for growth. Every project needs to be challenged to leverage inward investment.

Align regional devolution with Industrial Strategy

Devolution is often talked about in terms of alignment with local priorities, but these need to fit within a national industrial strategy. The north has unique expertise that are not easily found in other areas of the country, for example the depth of professional services experience found in Leeds or the media and arts expertise in Manchester. It is a perfect opportunity for regions to work together with a strong unified voice to champion these areas that are flourishing to government.

Underpin the programme with investment in technical skills

The recent Farmer Review has challenged both employers and government to reform construction so it is fit to meet the challenges of delivering the major infrastructure schemes that this country badly needs. The National Needs Assessment predicts the size of the challenge as a requirement for 400,000 new jobs in construction and engineering in 20 years. It is an immense challenge. Small steps like re-purposing the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the new apprenticeship levy move us in the right direction, but need to be built upon effectively and rapidly. The Northern Powerhouse will highlight the skills shortage, but it also needs to be the catalyst for investment in upskilling for the future.

Reform public services

The measure of a successful powerhouse is a region that is able to stand on its own feet economically. To do so requires the north’s performance in education, health and social welfare to be brought under control and drive better outcomes for the people of the north.