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Metro mayors ‘must prioritise Northern Powerhouse’

The incoming North West metro mayors must prioritise the Northern Powerhouse concept and keep it at the fore of the political agenda, according to a regional property expert.

John Ogden, managing director at commercial agent CBRE, believes the new leaders for the Greater Manchester and Liverpool regions should focus on consolidating the resources of their towns and cities.

He tells Move Commercial: “Both metro mayors should combine the strengths of their respective cities to have a strong and united voice in Westminster.

“They should use this devolution of power from the South to narrow the north-south divide and keep the Northern Powerhouse at the forefront of the political agenda.

“Their priorities should include the continued improvement of the North West’s infrastructure, linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield as agglomeration has shown that bigger conurbations attract clusters of businesses.”

Ogden goes on to say that boosting infrastructure will help improve the transport industry and skills in the region, which he also singles out as vital.

He adds: “This, in turn, should put the focus on increased transport investment, improving skills within the labour force and the creation of new housing and improved healthcare services.

“Additionally, priority should be given to maintaining the excellent higher education facilities and promoting on a global scale Manchester’s capacity to be the home of bio medical research and innovation.”

The metro mayors for the Liverpool and Greater Manchester regions will be elected in May.

More insight about what the new leaders should prioritise can be found in our latest Ask the Panel feature.