We need investment in training and transport, demands North

Keith Griffiths, the co-organiser of the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition

Keith Griffiths, the co-organiser of the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition

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PEOPLE in the north of England want to see more investment in training and transport to boost the region’s economic performance, according to a new survey.

However, the poll from Ipsos Mori North, which has been commissioned by the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition, found that the Government may need to bang the drum a little louder for its Northern Powerhouse initiative, which aims to bridge the economic divide between north and south.

Only 51 per cent of respondents to the survey said they had heard about the Northern Powerhouse. There was no significant variance in awareness across the Northern regions.

Around 82 per cent of respondents said that investing in training to develop skills, and transport infrastructure investment within the North, were the two biggest priorities.

Seven out of 10 respondents believed that investment in transport links between London and the North was an important consideration for policymakers.

Around three quarters of respondents thought that it was important to establish local control over the setting of business rates. There was also strong support for measures to attract foreign investment.

Keith Griffiths, the co-organiser of the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition, said: “This new research from Ipsos Mori North sheds some much-needed light on northern people’s views on the Northern Powerhouse and where people believe Government investment should be focus- ed.

“We hope this will provide food for thought for delegates and speakers.”

Moderated by BBC broadcaster John Humphrys, the conference will include a host of influential speakers including keynote speaker Lord Jim O’Neill, as well as Lord Prescott, Ed Cox, the director of IPPR North, Sarah Green, director of regions and nations at CBI, and Piers Linney, co-ceo of Outsourcery PLC and a former star of BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den.

They will be joined by a panel of industry experts including chief executives from UKTI, Arup, HS2 and Lambert Smith Hampton.

The UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition will take place in Manchester Central on February 25 and 26. For more information visit www.uk-northern-powerhouse.co.uk.

Ipsos MORI North surveyed 530 adults in the North of England between January 7 and January 19. The data has been weighted.

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