The five northern English core cities have signed a joint commitment with government to work collaboratively to ensure the full potential of a Northern Powerhouse is realised.
The leaders of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield have pledged to work together with the government to deliver the vision of a North of England which can help rebalance the nation’s economy – becoming more than the sum of its parts through joint working and closer connections.
The joint statement recognises that the vision can only be achieved through sustained long-term investment in people, places and infrastructure.
While devolution and improved transport links between the great northern cities are key parts of the Northern Powerhouse, the signatories of the statement also commit to working together to ensure the skills, housing and enterprise development base to support growth.
This applies particularly to the four sectors identified in an Independent Economic Review commissioned by northern leaders as pan-Northern strengths: advanced manufacturing, energy, health innovation and digital.
Closer links will enable the great northern cities to compete not against each other but together at scale on a national and international stage. We need to redress a legacy of underinvestment in the North and capitalise on our existing strengths. Through sustained focus on this agenda we can unlock more jobs and increased prosperity. That is the prize. It won’t happen overnight but we are all determined to deliver it.
Sir Richard Leese
Leader of Manchester City Council
By working together to promote better transport links and closer connections we can help drive much needed economic growth, which will create vital jobs for the cities of the North. Core cites and councils are undoubtedly best placed to make the big decisions around economic growth for their local communities, but hand in hand with that is the urgent need to address the continued imbalance in Government funding for key infrastructure such as transport and flood defences. Only once that imbalance is addressed can the rhetoric of the Northern Powerhouse match up to reality and enable the North to meet its true economic potential.
Leader of Leeds City Council
Liverpool City Region is the gateway of the Northern Powerhouse. The Northern Powerhouse programme gives Liverpool City Region the opportunity to secure the investment in the East/West rail and road links that we have lacked for so many years. This investment is crucial to achieving the economic growth we are aiming for in order to fully exploit the assets of the City Region nationally and globally – such as the Superport- as well as stimulating more jobs and more business opportunities for our residents and our companies.
Mayor of Liverpool
City leaders across the north are determined to create a stronger economy shaped by the values of those who live and work here. But we know that the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse will only succeed if our cities are handed the powers, and funds, to create more and better jobs. The north is leading the way in a new era of life sciences, offshore engineering, automotive technologies and advanced manufacturing, and now more than ever is the time to hand to over the powers needed to back those industries locally. We know that will involve working together on major issues, as well as with cities and leaders from across the north as we seek to ensure this vision becomes a reality.
Nick Forbes Newcastle
City Council Leader
We need to unlock the talent of our young people, and focus on the things that matter to real people, including more and better jobs for the next generation of our workforce. By taking control of our own skills agenda and working with local employers to design training, we can make sure we’re getting young people the skills they need to get into the jobs that will be created in our local economy.
Leader of Sheffield City Council