Northern Powerhouse investment
What do Northern cities need to do to realise funding for their infrastructure projects? How will Salford ensure road connections support the growth of the city port? Will future skills training meet the needs of the Northern Powerhouse? These were some of the questions that were tackled at our forum in Liverpool last week.
Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership Henri Murison joined a discussion with Shelagh McNerney, Head of Development at Salford City Council, and Liam Harrison, Market Director - Infrastructure at SNC-Lavalin Atkins, at RIBA North on best strategies for re-balancing the North-South divide.
Henri was emphatic that the North needs to raise its skill levels, and stop being parochial if it is to attract significant government and private investment.
He commented: 'It's an economic project.....over the last five years the main cities have had a resurgence but the North is still as a region much weaker than the South. There is a £7,000 average annual income gap, and the challenge with employment in the north of England is that we are not creating enough high pay and high skill jobs, despite the region being great for health sciences, digital, manufacturing and energy industries. This is concerning. That's why five years ago George Osborne launched the Northern Powerhouse project.'
Lack of joined-up planning in making the case for light rail connections was also cited by Henri as holding the North's infrastructure back. This was echoed in questions from the audience at RIBA North which remarked that Liverpool John Lennon Airport does not connect properly to the Waterfront destinations. You can watch Henri' discussing this in the video below.