What a Northern Powerhouse could mean for Liverpool
2014 can be characterised as a year of solid growth for the North West. It was also a year when rebalancing the UK regions rose up the political and local agenda, with the North very much the focus of the devolution debate.
Liverpool has fantastic universities who already play a key role in knowledge and innovation; the NW has the highest number of apprenticeships in the country and skills are high on the agenda. With the emergence of the Combined Authority, there is a real appetite for devolved and decentralised powers.
In the following video I talk about how cities and regions need to build their own economic strengths and capabilities – not rivalling London and the South East, but replicating the characteristics that have made them successful. Click here to hear more.
As I talk about in the video, investment in transport infrastructure will play a fundamental role in creating a Northern Powerhouse. The fact it currently takes three and a quarter hours by train to travel about 130 miles between the two ports of Liverpool and Hull, is clearly not good enough and is counterproductive in getting the region to think collectively. While HS3 is a step in the right direction to improving transport links across the North, it is deeply disappointing that Liverpool remains out of the frame for both HS2 and HS3 rail links.
My fear is that without fit-for-purpose transport we will begin to see the emergence of a North-North divide, as secondary locations with poor connectivity struggle to attract business and jobs.
The ingredients are there for economic regeneration but, if investment in transport infrastructure does not extend to Liverpool, the City risks being left in the margins.
For more information please contact Martin Heath on 0151 224 108 / firstname.lastname@example.org