The Northern Powerhouse Partnership has announced its own Northern Powerhouse review into HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, backing industry calls for the government not to scrap HS2.
The future of HS2 itself was cast into serious doubt last week, when the government announced an independent review led by Douglas Oakervee into “whether and how to proceed” with HS2.
Now, northern business and political leaders have joined forces by setting up their own review, with a clear purpose of offering a northern perspective and to ensure that the North is properly heard.
Aiming to inform and influence the Oakervee review, it will make bold and realistic proposals to support its long-held view, shared by business leaders and politicians across the North, that major infrastructure investment is needed to rebalance the UK’s economy by narrowing the huge gap between what is spent in the North compared to the South.
The review will be overseen by a panel of respected regional politicians and business leaders, including Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, Kevin Hollinrake, the co-chair of the Northern Powerhouse all-party parliamentary group, Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, Paula Dillon, a respected Yorkshire businesswoman with expertise running a global legal business, and Howard Bernstein, former chief executive of Manchester City Council.
Bringing together leading voices from across the north, the Powerhouse Review will scrutinise the case for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and examine how economic growth can be created to make the north as prosperous as the south by promoting investment opportunities and bringing forward skilled job opportunities.
Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said: “The Northern Powerhouse is of critical importance to the future of UK prosperity, and without improving connectivity it will be difficult to address the underlying reasons for our lower productivity. In the coming weeks, this group of distinguished leaders and experts from across the North will be addressing the key evidence to ensure that the importance of economic rebalancing is fully understood by those undertaking the Oakervee review.”