An investment of more than £3bn from the UK government could lead to the creation of 850,000 jobs in the Northern Powerhouse, the Powerhouse 2050: the North’s Routemap for Productivity report has claimed.
Following the release of the 2050 report today, Theresa May has stated that she is “absolutely committed” to the Northern Powerhouse and its goals of rebalancing the economy.
“A proposal from Tech North would manage existing British Business Bank funds to the value of £30m alongside private investment partners into high-growth tech companies from across the North. This could be delivered in partnership with existing platforms, such as NorthInvest.”
Among the four sectors, the report calls for £100m to cement the UK’s position as a leader in health data, as well as £60m for the north to become the UK’s first region to commit to industrial digitisation – how UK manufacturing can increase its use of digital technology (such Greater Manchester leading the Internet of Things) and automation to become more productive and competitive.
It also calls for £2bn to replace the entire gas network of Leeds with hydrogen produced in the Tees Valley, and £1bn to creating a new northern economy of small nuclear reactors.
Professor Juergen Maier, a member of the partnership, said that the “bold and original initiatives” could have a “transformational effect” on the north of England.
A full rundown of the partnership’s proposals include the government investing:
- £1bn on portable nuclear reactors
- £2bn to replace the entire natural gas supply in Leeds with hydrogen produced in the Tees Valley
- £20m for three years to 1,000 companies in the North West for “industrial digitisation”
- £30m for the development of a North East-wide 5G network
- £100m to the Salford Lung Study and Connected Health Cities programme
- £20m in The Campus for Ageing and Vitality (CAV) in Newcastle to redevelop the site for academic, residential, industrial and commercial uses
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry was in full support, stating: “We’re investing more to improve northern transport connections than any government in history – £13 billion by 2020 – and our £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund launched earlier this year, will help small and medium businesses to start-up and grow globally.”