Northern leaders work together for levelling up

Civic and business leaders across the North have put forward a collective partnership offer to government for how the North can lead the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, as part of plans to level up the region.

In a document published by the Convention of the North and the NP11 group of northern local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), five ‘gamechangers’ were set out to grow an inclusive economy for the North, including leading the green industrial revolution, closing the healthy life expectancy gap between the North and South, closing the education and skills gap, improving connectivity in towns and cities in the North, and increasing private and public spending on R&D in the North.

Leaders have invited the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, to join them for a working convention in Liverpool in January, focused on turning the government’s commitment to level up the North into action.

high rise buildings with body of water

Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and chair of the Convention of the North, said: ‘The North of England is ready and prepared to play a leading role in driving this country forwards but we need meaningful partnerships with Government if we are to succeed. We are asking the Government to work with us and equip the North so it can achieve its full potential. Delivering this would truly demonstrate a commitment to levelling up the North.

‘We want to develop skills within our communities, tackle the health inequalities that have been laid bare by the pandemic, attract greater investment into our towns and cities, and lead on the Net Zero transition. We cannot achieve these goals on our own, and that is why the North is united behind these priorities and this offer to Government today.’

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the NP11 and of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, added: ‘The North has phenomenal assets in areas such as energy, advanced manufacturing, health innovation and digital that can power the UK’s post-COVID recovery and create jobs and opportunity for our people. As a combined region, we also have the scale to help the Government deliver on its ambition for a competitive and confident Global Britain.

‘Successful partnership working between the public and private sectors is going to be crucial to delivering the gamechangers we have collectively identified. Businesses drive innovation and create quality jobs, both of which contribute to people’s health, wealth and quality of life. This is why the NP11 is adding its business voice to that of northern civic leaders in making this offer today.’

In related news, CEO of Impact Data Metrics, Neil Murray, reflects on the process of creating innovation economies across the UK, and data’s role in delivering Levelling Up policies. 

Photo by Gary Butterfield


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