At Aldermore, we support the Northern Powerhouse, with over a third of our employees and a large proportion of our customers based in the North of England. One thing we’ve noticed, however, is that despite all of the discussion surrounding the idea since it was first introduced by George Osborne back in 2014, there is a lot of confusion amongst businesses and consumers about this topic. More specifically, what exactly is the Northern Powerhouse, and what does it mean for companies and individuals in the north?
We’ve compiled the top 5 things you need to know about the Northern Powerhouse.
1) It’s all about boosting economic growth in the North of England
The core idea behind the Northern Powerhouse is to boost economic growth in the North of England. The UK is often accused of being overly reliant on London for economic growth, with northern advocates pointing to spending disparities between the north and south. The majority of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse plans focus on what are known as the ‘core cities’ of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle.
One of our customers, David Houghton, Chairman of a Manchester-based steel manufacturer, provided us with a fantastic example of what the Northern Powerhouse is all about.
David was able to save 110 of his staffs' jobs at Thomas Storey Fabrications after a management buy-out. His aims to support the growth of the ‘fiercely competitive’ North West include plans to grow the company organically and through merger and acquisition activity in the coming years.
For David, the Northern Powerhouse is all about northern manufacturers being recognised. Commenting to Aldermore he said, “In the past, too many Northern manufacturers have failed to receive the attention they deserve, but I’m hopeful that efforts to realise the Northern Powerhouse and the improving local economy will rectify this and enable businesses here to reach their potential.”
2) Better transport links will help create a more connected North
Improving transport connections between Northern cities and the rest of the country is a cornerstone of the Northern Powerhouse proposal. Plans to improve rail connectivity with the HS2 and HS3 would radically reduce travel times, making commuting from city to city much easier. There are also around 40 major road schemes planned, as well as a travel card system for public transport in the North, similar to London’s Oyster Card scheme, showing the importance of addressing transport issues within the cities themselves.
3) Devolution will give power back to the North
Another key part of the Northern Powerhouse proposal was devolution, which would give northern cities greater control over public spending and policy decisions. Manchester was the first to feel the benefit of this, with the announcement of an elected Mayor, and there are plans for other cities to follow suit. This is good news for consumers and businesses, as it means local authorities will be able to adapt national policies to meet local needs.
4) £400 million is being invested in helping small businesses to grow
In 2015 the government announced the creation of a £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which was being created to help fuel growth in small businesses in the north. The idea being that this new fund will produce greater levels of investment, increase the focus on potential opportunities in the north and increase the flexibility in the type of funding available.
5) Aldermore supports the Northern Powerhouse
At Aldermore, we’re big supporters of the Northern Powerhouse. After all, more than a third of our employees are based in the North of England including key offices in Manchester, Wilmslow and Leeds. We’ve helped thousands of northern businesses expand and achieve their goals, and will continue to do so. We are committed to the success of the Northern Powerhouse plans, which is evident in the work we’ve conducted across the region.
Find out more about how our tailored and flexible business finance solutions or business savings accounts can help northern businesses reach their full potential.
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