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Northern Powerhouse - blueprint for the next 35 years unveiled

17 June 2016

RTPI and IPPR North launch blueprint for a Great North Plan

 

A blueprint that maps out how to develop a Great North Plan to turn the Northern Powerhouse a reality in the next 35 years has been launched jointly by the RTPI and IPPR North.

The blueprint was launched at KMPG’s Leeds office today with support from Business North and UKTI, both of whom endorsed the need for a Great North Plan, especially its importance to businesses and investors.

Leading businesses and local authorities were invited to make a "Powerhouse Pledge" to say how they can take the Plan forward.

Key northern assets – economy, energy, transport, people - are mapped in the blueprint, showcasing the building blocks of an economic strategy for the North.

Phil Crabtree, Chair of RTPI Yorkshire, who represented the Institute at the launch, said:  

“The Great North Plan blueprint document shows how planning can play a vital role in fostering the vision, collaboration and flexibility necessary to deliver the economic, social, technological and environmental benefits across the whole of the North of England.   

“Planning professionals have a key role in supporting this process. This is what we do. The RTPI calls on local authorities, government and businesses to make full use of the region’s planners and plan-making process. Local authorities in particular need to use their combined local planning, economic development and regeneration powers to guide private sector investment and to lead the process of change.”

Local authorities in particular need to use their combined local planning, economic development and regeneration powers to guide private sector investment and to lead the process of change.

Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North, said:

 “As our blueprint shows, we have some real competitive advantages in the North: in areas like advanced manufacturing, the digital economy and energy supply, not to mention quality of life. But we need a business-led plan from the North, for the North, to tie these together.

“It is the kind of strategy that they have in London and in the most successful regions in Europe and the USA and now is the time for business leaders to have a bigger role in making the Northern Powerhouse a reality.”

Riding on the momentum around the vision of creating a single, interconnected Northern region, the RTPI took the initiative and worked with IPPR North in 2015 to collect views to the big question, “Do we need a Great North Plan?”.

93% said "yes" to a Great North Plan

Through a call for evidence, 11 roundtable discussions in six northern cities and a Northern Summit in January this year, we have heard from a broad section of people, 93% of whom said “yes” to the question. Work then proceeded to synthesise all the feedback into a coherent document: the blueprint.

The blueprint represents the best of the ideas of more than 350 people who have had fed into the thinking so far. It is not the Great North Plan itself but it sets out the principles to guide how the Plan should be developed; identifies the necessary documents that might together comprise the Plan; suggests the various layers of planning that need to be done through collaborative actions; and proposes the next steps in moving from blueprint to Plan.

A copy of the Great North Plan blueprint is available here.