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Northern Powerhouse draws spotlight at MIPIM UK

The Northern Powerhouse was a focal point of this year’s MIPIM UK, with major projects, investment opportunities and links between the region’s core cities being a focus throughout.

As Manchester and Liverpool shared a stand at this week’s three-day property event, with Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle representatives also ehibiting, a focus on the strategy was also prominent during the conference schedule and in wider fringe events.

Sir Howard Bernstein and Ged Fitzgerald, chief executives of Manchester City Council and Liverpool City Council respectively, joined fellow northern city figures to debate the Northern Powerhouse as an investment opportunity and how to achieve its full potential on the opening day of MIPIM UK.

The session, in which Fitzgerald called on businesses to “look up and look out” as globalisation is “crucial” to Northern Powerhouse ambitions, was moderated by Nicola Rigby, director of Bilfinger GVA.

Following the event, Rigby said: “What was really interesting in the discussion today was the amount of time we spent talking about the ‘the north’ as a real entity and investment opportunity. Clearly the City Regions will have to establish their own economic strategy to sit behind this, but the Northern narrative is gaining pace and prominence – and rightly so if we want to attract genuine international investment.”

Regional delegates also attended a Northern Powerhouse drinks reception at London’s Somerset House, which saw Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese address guests.

During the event he said: “We intend to create a North that is economically self-sufficient and helps other parts of the country.”

Elsewhere at MIPIM UK, prominent North West projects were highlighted on stands as event attracted potential investors including Chinese delegates, with UK Trade & Investment showcasing Manchester’s St John’s regeneration project among its key opportunities.