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 assess the refreshed Strategy - which aims to set out a vision for future prosperity in the North, building on progress already made - and what it means for the region.

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

Following the recent Ministerial Treasury assurances that one of its core objectives is support for the Northern Powerhouse - and with the expected publication of the Government’s Infrastructure Strategy this autumn - the conference will provide an opportunity to assess infrastructure priorities including:

  • Digital connectivity:
    • The Prime Minister’s commitments to accelerate the roll out of full-fibre broadband;
    • Concern expressed by stakeholders over the digital divide and implementation of broadband across the North, describing it as uncoordinated and inefficient; and
    • 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 - including the possibility of a ‘Northern budget’.

Skills, growth and relationships across the North of England

Further sessions will consider:

  • Growth across the North:
    • What more could be needed to deliver economic growth for the whole of the North of England and balance investment across the region; and
    • An update on the next steps for devolution in Yorkshire.
  • Skills and innovation:
    • 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.
  • Policy priorities:

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