Northern Powerhouse relaunch after criticism

By Mark Whitehead | 17 June 2016

The Northern Powerhouse is today being relaunched following criticism that the current project has failed to make enough progress.

James Wharton, minister for the Northern Powerhouse, will reveal how businesses and other organisations can sign up as official partners in a programme to boost investment across the region at an event in Leeds. 

Firms will be consulted over new policies and be able to use the Northern Powerhouse brand in their marketing.

Mr Wharton said: ‘We’re clear we must work closely with businesses, universities and other organisations to pool the abundance of talent on offer across the North, which is why today I am calling on our local leaders to join us in this quest to make the Northern Powerhouse an even better place to live, work and invest in.’

The announcement comes as a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North, also launched in Leeds today in tandem with the Government’s event, details new plans for the region.

IPPR North described the project so far as ‘piecemeal, partial and parochial’ and warned that it risked running into the ground.

The Blueprint for a Great North Plan identifies the economy, transport, environment and ‘population and place’ as key areas for action.

A spokesperson for IPPR North said: ‘The Northern Powerhouse project risks being derailed if it is not led by local authorities and local business.

‘We want to harness the power of localism and reinvigorate the Northern Powerhouse idea.’

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