Lord Heseltine to address summit forging a new infrastructure plan for the Northern Powerhouse
The former deputy prime minister, Lord Heseltine, will address a high-profile summit next week setting out how the north can shape its destiny with a new plan to deliver the Northern Powerhouse.
The Northern Summit is hosted by the RTPI and IPPR North to present the initial findings from their Great North Plan consultation. The two organisations joined forces last year to establish support for a new spatial framework for the north of England, to underpin economic growth, looking beyond transport infrastructure.
Support for a new spatial plan for the north
Some 240 business and public policy leaders attended 11 roundtable events in Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Hull last summer to consider what a strategic spatial planning framework for the north of England would look like, its scope and how it should be delivered.
The Northern Summit in Leeds on 14 January 2016 brings together leading decision makers to make such a plan happen. Over 100 of the north’s leaders of business, commerce and politics are already registered to attend the summit. BBC home affairs editor Mark Easton will chair proceedings.
Lord Heseltine said:
“The Northern Powerhouse is about unlocking the potential of our great northern towns and cities by better connecting the north’s places and people. But a stronger northern economy does not simply rely on transport alone: it is about joining up all its assets, skills and people. The north has a unique opportunity to shape its destiny with greater investment and leadership. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and insight on how this can be achieved.”
Bob Wolfe, RTPI Chair of the Northern Summit Project Board, said:
“From Leeds to Liverpool, from Newcastle to Sheffield some strong common ideas have emerged, such as the clear need for strategic plan for the North - high-level yet broad enough to encompass and unite the needs and aspirations of all those who live, work and play in the North. The importance of integrating transport and spatial planning has been emphasised along with the need for economic planning and governance to be in sync. The Northern summit will be a crucial platform to move these ideas forward.”
Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North, said:
“The Northern Summit will forge a new way forward for the region, bringing together the north’s leading minds to help shape the future of the Northern Powerhouse. Infrastructure is fundamental to the north’s success, but there has been a lack of longer-term vision and strategic thinking to join up assets and leadership to drive such a plan forward.
“We have been overwhelmed by the interest in this project from all professions and from all parts of the region, not just big cities. There is craving for a bottom-up approach to building the Northern Powerhouse: this unique collaboration has allowed that to happen. The challenge now is making it a reality. We are delighted Lord Heseltine will share his vast experience on how this can be done.”
Lord Heseltine was appointed by the government as an adviser to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Growth and recently became one of the Commissioners for The National Infrastructure Commission. In October 2012 he published No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth, an independent review into how the public and private sectors in the UK work together to create wealth.
He will among other high profile figures who will be speaking at the event. Attendance is by invitation only. For further information and enquiries about the Great North Plan, please visit the GreatNorthPlan website.