Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction comments on the joint One North report published by an alliance of five cities - Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
He said: “This is the first time our Northern cities have got together to agree a shared vision for the economic development of the region. Given that identity is so important to the cities involved, the proposition shows that they are ready to put individual differences aside and to help the North regain its historic prominence in the UK economy. This is a powerful message to the government to invest in the north."
“We have for too long invested billions of pounds more in the South than the North - throw money at our economically strongest region and abandoning our weakest. The UK currently invests as much in infrastructure in London in 2 days as it invests in Manchester in a year. Over the last 10 years, according to ONS data, the North's share of the UK's economic output has fallen by more than 5%. This trend will continue unless we strive to share our country’s economic success beyond the South East."
“I welcome the One North vision, but it is only a starting point. It sets out a detailed vision for rail infrastructure but is much less clear on investment in the region’s roads, airports and ports, and the local investment required in new housing, communities, schools, hospitals and local transport links. The £15bn estimated cost is only a part of the total investment needed, though delivers a great deal for less than the cost of Crossrail 1 or Crossrail 2.”
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.