31 July 2015
Britain is great. Anyone who reads my blogs will know how much we champion British business, especially in Manchester and the North. But on the global stage, the North is more often than not overlooked in favour of London. So it was encouraging to see our Prime Minister travelling to Singapore with a Northern Powerhouse trade delegation, including Manchester’s FutureEverything.
David Cameron outlined the government’s goal to showcase investment alternatives to London; with the help of real northern businesses – real-world examples of the type of firms pushing the UK economy forward. Whilst there is no doubt that London offers a hub of economic activity, it is beyond me as to why international investors would not look to the northern hubs linking cities across the UK and making the most of the freedom outside of the capital.
Cameron is right. The North is a driving force in the UK economy. I believe that it has long been neglected by the government’s investment plans and is in dire need of infrastructure improvements. Encouraging investment from Singapore and South-East Asia’s investors to help “rebalance our country” is only going to give the region even more firepower.
It was interesting to note his subtle references to connecting the cities in the North – a link that I would make to furthering the government’s HS2 agenda. However, he also referenced linking these cities to “create incubators for enterprise”. This is something we are already doing; Manchester’s startups are thriving and the amount of incubator space in the city is growing quickly. But imagine what these businesses could achieve with help from the government or external investment in infrastructure!
It could certainly be said that the Northern Powerhouse policy is a way for the Tories to boost votes north of the Watford Gap, it’s fair to say that it seems to be creating a stronger future for the UK economy outside of London.
What do you think: Is Cameron’s Singapore trip a potential boost for the region’s future, or a way to prop up the Northern Powerhouse dream?