The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review


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EXERPT: Introduction

The North of England is home to 16m people (nearly one quarter of the UK population) and 7.2m jobs, and generated an economic output of around £290bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2015, about one fifth of the UK’s total. The area has a wealth of high profile and growing businesses, and rich sets of expertise creativity, and assets. But, there remain persistent gaps in GVA per capita and productivity performance compared to the rest of the UK. HM Treasury analysis has showed that if the North’s economy grew as quickly as the UK average to 2030 instead of at the slower rate experienced in the past two decades, its economic output would be £37bn higher in real terms1.

It was with this opportunity in sight that the Chancellor set out a vision in August 2014 to better connect the North and for it to become ‘one Northern Powerhouse’, acting together to drive economic outcomes greater than the sum of its parts. The Chancellor’s announcement was followed by HM Treasury’s ‘Fixing the Foundations’ report in 2015, which committed to devolve further powers to the North (and elsewhere). The Autumn Statement in late 2015 then defined a range of investments in the North’s science and business base to boost productivity performance and encourage a ‘rebalancing’ of the UK’s economy.