30 March 2016

I am delighted to see the northern tech industry receive a huge boost this week with the announcement of a direct flight to Silicon Valley.san fran

The Manchester to San Francisco flight will begin next year, along with direct Boston flights.

The flight gives Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse a direct line to Silicon Valley – the heart of America’s tech industry and home to the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple and hundreds of budding tech startups.

It’s also, of course, a boost to the region’s tourism; last year Manchester alone saw more than a million international visitors.

The Northern Powerhouse is a long-term plan; it’s no longer about ’if’ it’s about ‘when’. But government slogans will not be what delivers further success for our region, it will be the extraordinary businesses and people here.

Whilst there has been far too much talk from the government about investment into HS2 and HS3 and zero action – I am sure that by the time we see any plans come into fruition, we will be planning HS22! These flights are a prime example of growth led by the region and by businesses. Virgin has been running flights from Manchester for more than 20 years, and the addition of these two new routes highlights the city and the region’s global value.

Watching the budget earlier in the month, it certainly seems that the government is piggybacking off the region’s existing success and growth. ‘Northern Powerhouse’ seems to be an umbrella term to make it look like they’re taking some serious new action, when really the investment they promise is what we’d expect anyway.

I am excited to see what the future of the Northern Powerhouse holds, and this is certainly a leap in the right direction. With our European future in question, the more global links that we have, the better in my opinion.

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