Northern Powerhouse more Important than Ever in a Post-Brexit Britain

8th December 2016

Senior figures from business and local government gathered to discuss the vital importance of the Northern Powerhouse in a post-Brexit Britain.

The advisory board of the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference, led by the board's chair Lord Bob Kerslake, met to confirm key topics for inclusion in February's international conference. Following the new government's continued support for the project, the panel believe the Northern Powerhouse is key to helping encourage international investment into Britain following Brexit. The Northern Powerhouse is now recognised around the world as a great place to do business and is continuing to attract international investors from across the globe. In 2015-2016, the North saw inward investment projects increase by nearly a quarter from the previous year faster than the UK average.[1] In order to compete on a global stage post-Brexit, Britain can no longer solely rely on London and government needs to be making decisions with the North of England in mind, according to the panel. The Chancellor's first Autumn Statement supported this aim, pledging as part of its 'Northern Powerhouse Strategy' £15 million to support Northern Powerhouse trade missions and £7 million to establish a Northern Powerhouse Investment Taskforce, bringing together local authorities and businesses of the North to present a single internationally competitive offer to the world.[2] International investment will form an important part of the two day UK Northern Powerhouse Conference, which will be held on February 21 and 22 at Manchester Central. International delegations are expected from Australia, China, India, and the US. Lord Kerslake said: -The government has committed to continuing major investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation research to ensure the job of rebalancing the UK economy can continue. This will be key to proactively driving economic growth and investment in a post-Brexit world. -The new 'Northern Powerhouse Strategy' as part of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement is a huge step in the right direction. It outlines plans to make the most of our competitive advantages in the global marketplace and to ensure the economy is firing on all cylinders. There is also clear recognition in government that the Powerhouse is best driven by the private sector, but that government support in relation to major infrastructure projects, inward investment and devolution is essential, according to Lord Kerslake. He continued: -Ultimately the success of the Northern Powerhouse will not just be driven solely by government, but by the private sector in the north of England. At the conference in February, we are giving Northern businesses the chance to put forward their views and learn more about how they can help ensure the north achieves its full economic potential. Keith Griffiths, Managing Director of UK Northern Powerhouse Conference, said: -We have already had strong international interest in delegations wanting to attend the conference in February. This is a clear indication of the appetite global markets have not just for the UK, but also in the North of England. -Many of those attending will be planning a strategy to maximise their businesses and promote the international trade opportunities available post-Brexit. Driving forward plans to invest in the Northern Powerhouse and build the economic strength of the North is absolutely key in helping us achieve not just these individual business goals but also the region's aim for a stronger future. The advisory board for The 2017 UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition includes leaders from business and local government including Dr. Ian Kelly, CEO, Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, Ajaz Ahmed, Freeserve Entrepreneur and Chair and Federation of Asian Businesses and Max Steinberg CBE, Chief Executive of economic development agency Liverpool Vision. The conference is also supported by Chief Executives from across the major cities of the North from Liverpool to Newcastle. It will feature sessions with the CEOs of major national businesses such as Nissan, Cisco and Stobart Group, as well as playing host to a number of international trade delegations. The conference will be held in Manchester Central on 21 and 22 February and is expected to attract over 3,000 delegates over two days. Topics being addressed during the conference include manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, Finance & Delivery, devolution, competitiveness and productivity and energy. The UK Northern Powerhouse Conference and Exhibition is a private company and not part of the UK Government.

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