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RTPI to lead Northern Powerhouse debates to focus on people and places

19 December 2018

The RTPI is holding a series of roundtables in six Northern cities in January, to create a set of shared ambitions to advance strategic planning and governance for the Northern Powerhouse.

Businesses, planners, academics, local government, civil society groups and other organisations keen to improve places and quality of life across the North will be invited to take part. 

The first three roundtables will explore:

Demographic change (Bradford, 14th January, 3 to 6pm)

In Bradford we will consider how planners and others should respond to patterns of rural-urban migration, the ‘brain drain’ of graduates to the South, the challenges of an ageing population, and the future of communities which have been ‘left behind’ by industrial and technological change. 

Housing quality and affordability (Newcastle, 15th January, 3 to 6pm)

To support the drive to deliver healthier, happier and more sustainable communities, the Newcastle roundtable will explore an approach which maintains affordable housing in growing economies, boosts performance in struggling areas with an abundance of cheaper housing, and ensures quality development in both.

Commerce, jobs and the fourth Industrial Revolution (Manchester, 16th January, 3 to 6pm)

In Manchester we will explore what improved productivity looks like in a Northern context, and how smarter strategic planning and infrastructure decisions can narrow the performance gap between places. 

Three further roundtables will follow in the last week of January, focusing on rural and coastal communities (Blackpool), the future of town centres (Sheffield), and key Northern assets (Darlington)

Each roundtable will be delivered by leading consultancy Peter Brett Associates with support from academics at Newcastle University and volunteers from the Institute.

These roundtables represent the continuation of the Great North Plan project, which was initiated by the RTPI and IPPR North in 2016. The RTPI will share its findings and recommendations at a major conference on People and Place, which will be held in Spring 2019. 

To register interest in attending any of these workshops, please email

More information on the project is here