The bold plan to create a thriving Northern Powerhouse received some good news recently. An independent report, commissioned by Transport For The North, details a strategy which will allow the North to realise its fantastic potential.
For the past thirty years, there has been a persistent economic gap between the North and the national average. In 2015 the North generated an economic output of around £290bn in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA). Now this was around one fifth of the nation's total as a whole, but we have more to give.
Indeed, we need to bridge the gap between the North's economic potential and its current realities. This will of course be spurred on by private investment, something which will herald a greater number of highly skilled jobs for the people of the North.
'Business as usual' for the North would not mean zero growth or investment, but it would likely mean that the gap between the North and the rest of the country would continue to widen. The report therefore outlines a transformational approach to the Northern economy; one which capitalises on out key capabilities, but also seeks to improve our infrastructure.
The North is certainly more than capable. The report highlights our proficiency in advanced manufacturing, energy, health innovation and digital innovation. These will act as the cornerstone from which the Northern Powerhouse will undoubtedly thrive.
The report suggests that by 2050, a scheme of workable and sustained growth will result in the creation of 1.5 million jobs by 2050, a rise in our GVA and an increase in skilled work. These are all things that are obtainable.
If you would like to read about the report's overview in full, it can be found here - http://www.transportforthenorth.com/pdfs/NP/Overview-NP-Independent-Economic-Review.pdf
What is palpably clear is that the North is growing. It's becoming more innovative and productive on a daily basis, and it is of the utmost importance that we continue these trends. We have all the tools at out disposal, so we now need strong leadership to bring these plans to fruition. I will endeavour to do all that I can to ensure that this is the case.