Westminster Social Policy Forum

The future for the Northern Powerhouse - infrastructure, economic growth and the refreshed Northern Powerhouse strategy

Morning, Friday, 6th December 2019

Central Manchester


This seminar will examine the future for the Northern Powerhouse and is timed to follow the refreshed Northern Powerhouse strategy expected later this year.

Sessions will provide an opportunity to react to the refreshed strategy - which aims to build on the progress made and set out a vision for future prosperity in the North - and what it means for the region.

Key stakeholders across business and local government will be sharing their views on the way forward.

With the Government’s Infrastructure Strategy also due to be released later this year it will also provide an opportunity to assess infrastructure priorities across the Powerhouse with discussion expected on:

  • Transport priorities:
    • Northern Powerhouse Rail - with an update expected as part of the Infrastructure Strategy;
    • Progress on HS2 in the context of ongoing speculation about the future of the project; and
    • Priorities for developing pan-northern improvements and delivering Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan.

  • Digital connectivity:
    • As northern powerhouse leaders warn of the risk of a ‘digital divide’ of an ‘uncoordinated and inefficient’ rollout of fibre optic broadband in an open letter to Ofcom; and
    • In the context of 5G developments across the region including the current testbed in Liverpool.
  • Housebuilding:
    • Following the announcement of a new garden village in Cheshire East and £102m Housing Infrastructure Fund for Carlisle as part of the Borderlands Growth Deal.
  • Funding of future projects:
    • What more should be done to drive investment to the region and the potential for new approaches to project finance.

Further sessions will provide an opportunity to consider:

  • Growth across the North:

    • Whether more is needed to deliver economic growth for the whole of the North of England and balance investment across the region - including an update on the next steps for devolution in Yorkshire.
  • Skills and innovation:

    • Including discussion around the role of universities, industry partnerships and how to make sure that the skills taught are what businesses need.
  • Coordination with other regions:

    • What more can be done to effectively work in partnership with neighbouring regions - such as North Wales and the Midlands - to deliver success.
  • Policy priorities:

    • Next steps for policy and the refreshed Northern Powerhouse Strategy.

Keynote Speaker

Henri Murison

Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Keynote Speakers

Professor Jeurgen Maier

Chief Executive, Siemens UK and Board Member, Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Henri Murison

Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership


Andrea Jenkyns MP

Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood

Lord Goddard of Stockport

Vice Chair, Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group


Roger Marsh

Chair, Northern Powerhouse 11; Chair, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Member, West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Nathan Marsh

Director, Digital Transformation, UK & Europe, Atkins

Tim Wood

Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North

Councillor Judith Blake

Leader, Leeds City Council

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester

Grant Peggie

Director, Venture Capital Solutions, British Business Bank

Carol Matthews

Group Chief Executive, Riverside and Chair, Homes for the North