Transport, business, investment and infrastructure have all been under the magnifying glass as key cities across the region set out their plans to push the project to the next stage. In Manchester, where the airport is likely to be the centre point for arrivals to the Northern Powerhouse, the International Connectivity Commission and Transport for the North (TfN) released a report which claims that, with the correct planning, the North’s airports and ports can support a further 60 million passengers per year. The figures are based on current airport master plans and forecasts from the Department for Transport.
If it is easier to travel across the North, then the Northern cities will be more attractive to business and investment. As it currently stands, the North’s airports handle just 15% of UK passengers per year (39.6 million up to October 2016) and their estimate economic contribution is £5.5 billion, or 1.7% of the total output. The potential, it is argued, is there for Northern airports and economies to expand rapidly, inviting more business and investment opportunities to a region which has proven its credentials over recent years.
With the Prime Minister, Theresa May, delivering her keynote industrial strategy speech in the region, it would follow that ways to support expansion across the region in order to rebalance the UK economy away from the capital will be a top priority.
It is not just air travel which represents opportunity though, with The IPPR North report finding that Northern ports directly contributed £1.5bn, or 20%, of all Gross Value generated by UK ports in 2014. Freight, logistics and rail are other issues which represent a large hurdle for expansion too, with the current railways between the big cities in the North badly lacking.
Meanwhile in Liverpool, work on the expansion of the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing plant in the Halewood area has begun in earnest. The £130m project which will see the plant extended out to increase production, has kicked off with a £7m extension of the southern end of the factory, with the 6,000 people employed at the plant able to increase manufacturing capacity once completed.
Property development across the northern areas of the country are also in full swing, with planning applications across Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool being approved in rapid succession as councils see the benefit of increased living space across the region.
With economic figures staying positive post-Brexit, there are plenty queuing from across the world to buy off-plan property in the regions where yields, capital gains and demand are all high. After a successful 2016, the Northern Powerhouse is now gearing up to full speed ahead through 2017 and beyond.
To see a list of Knight Knox properties in the Northern Powerhouse, click here.