£50bn needed to fund Osborne’s northern powerhouse vision

Posted by Simon Hadley in Neighbourhood on 21 September 2015 - Simon is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

The government will need to shell out at least £50bn to turn the north of England into an economic powerhouse.

IPPR North, along with accountancy giant, KPMG, believe that in order for the untapped potential in sprawling metropolises such as Manchester and Leeds to be realised, with ‘higher wages, more jobs and stronger productivity’ all needed to compete with London and the South East.

Investment in the north of England would add an around £34bn a year to its economy, currently worth an estimated £290bn.

"The north has huge potential, and it should be in the premier league of world economies, but is currently condemned to mediocrity because of a lack of investment. The poor connectivity within, and between our northern cities, is throttling our productivity and weak national and global links are restricting our trade,” says Richard Threlfall of KPMG.

Such is the need for investment, chamber ministers representing the densely populated areas of the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside have backed George Osborne’s pledge to the region, and believe that improving transport infrastructure is a priority, while changes to the National Grid also need to be equalised, as at present, the transmission charges for connection are much lower in the south of the country.

“We see a big opportunity in the northern powerhouse concept…we want to encourage the chancellor to push it as far as he can” says Ross Smith of the North East Chamber of Commerce.

The Treasury has confirmed that economic gain is not the sole reason behind its motivated stance, insisting it is “about giving local leaders more power.”

Changes to phase one of the proposed High Speed Rail 2 (HR2) linking London with the north are due to be at the confirmed at the beginning of November.

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