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New review highlights infrastructure role for Northern Powerhouse

manchester skyline

The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review has suggested that infrastructure investment is crucial for the project’s success. 

Infrastructure investment will form a central component for the Northern Powerhouse, according to an independent economic review released yesterday (30 June).

“This review clearly identifies that, if the right investment and focus is put into these capabilities, and the infrastructure is there to support them, then 1.56M new jobs could be generated by 2050,” said John Cridland, chair of Transport for the North.

“Close to a million (850,000) of these will be directly attributable to the success of the Northern Powerhouse and we would expect productivity (GVA) to be 15% higher than currently which, in itself, would represent a major step-change for the North.”

The review, carried out by consultants SQW and Cambridge Econometrics, identified multiple infrastructure elements that require investment to achieve the goals set for the Northern Powerhouse. 

An upgrade to the Halton Curve railway line and new stations west of Warrington combined with improvements to Junction 8 on the M62 are recommended in the review.

High Speed 2 will also play an important role in the Powerhouse’s success, with a planned station at Crewe and another near Manchester Airport described as important for creating a “superhub” linking London, Birmingham and Manchester. 

Development at Sellafield in West Cumbria is also expected to be important for the region, with £70bn being spent to decommission to plant. 

The review also suggested that advanced manufacturing, energy, health technology and digital technology will be the four economic factors that will drive the Powerhouse. 



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