A call for central government to immediately increase the level of infrastructure investment forms part of a new Northern Powerhouse report.
‘Delivering a Northern Infrastructure Strategy’ by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is being handed over to Liverpool and Manchester’s metro mayors today (7 September) and includes a number of recommendations to help the region thrive.
Other suggestions being put forward in the report include the creation of a Council of the North, including representatives of northern LEPS, metro mayors and local authority leaders, to oversee the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse vision; a northern infrastructure strategy to ensure the North’s balanced growth and improved productivity; and the adoption of a more proactive and ambitious approach to encouraging private investment.
Acquiring and maintaining “best in class” digital infrastructure with complete geographic coverage is also among the 12 recommendations, along with the North fully developing its specialisations in renewables and new energy technologies to strengthen its role as the country’s energy powerhouse.
Darrell Matthews (pictured), North West regional director of ICE which coordinated the report, says: “For the Northern Powerhouse to succeed it needs a clear strategy for planning and delivering high performing infrastructure.
“This is the corner stone for a successful and resilient economy. By approaching infrastructure in the North in a coordinated strategic manner and providing the foundation for productive economic activity we can not only allow the region to flourish but also help to rebalance the UK’s economy and benefit the entire nation.”
An expert steering group comprising of engineers, businesses and local government organisations from across the North have also been involved in compiling the document, which has been given to Tees Valley metro mayor Ben Houchen as well as Liverpool’s Steve Rotheram and Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham.