Nearly three years since the idea of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ was first introduced by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the government’s ambitious plan to transform the north of England continues at pace.
The government recently set out its Northern Powerhouse Strategy, shortly followed by its Plan for Britain and Industrial strategy – all of which underline a commitment to growth, place and industry and the need to create more high skilled, high paid jobs and opportunities.
The Northern Powerhouse strategy aims to bring together local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and transport authorities, and to revitalise cities and towns across the region and rebalance the country’s London-centric economy.
In the plan, local economies don’t operate within administrative districts, but in interconnected and dependent sub-regions. It’s about ensuring all authorities work together to get the best for their investment, make the most of a reduced government settlement and improved collaboration, to harness the full potential of the area.
New transport links are key to achieving this ambition. Major infrastructure projects including HS2 extending into HS3 are a vital step in securing wholesale economic development within a region – they attract investment, both public and private, which in turn helps authorities create a place which attracts people to live, work and play.
Changing opportunity into reality
Capita is uniquely placed to help make the Northern Powerhouse happen on the ground and bring real benefit to local places. We’re already providing civil and structural design services for the complex HS2 scheme, and have the expertise to help deliver major transport improvements and regeneration across the Northern area and all transport modes.
Our local government expertise and experience means Capita is a leader in analytics and insight – we work with authorities to pull together extensive data sets to help them better understand their populations’ needs, their local economies, and their budgets, and can make sure they can get the most bang for their buck on investment.
Capita has extensive experience in helping local authorities work together within regions for their collective benefit, and can help negotiate complex development projects by working with a wide range of stakeholders.
Our sales and management consultants speak the right language to support authorities on bids for funding.
Some of our flagship programmes, including our partnerships with BBC North at Media City Salford and North Tyneside Council, the recently renewed place-based partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council, and the Salford Urban Vision partnership, are already working towards delivering the Northern Powerhouse.
The Northern Powerhouse is a real opportunity. The Plan for Britain and Industrial strategy strengthens rather than weakens it – and it will be what we make of it. We are only limited by our ambitions. Capita already has a range of place-based partnerships delivering in the north – and will continue to do so. And we’ve a range of capabilities that can be used to help the region become a highly desirable place in which to invest, work, live and play.
Business development director, Capita
Moreover, Capita is heavily invested in the region, employing thousands of people across the north – it is a powerhouse within the powerhouse. More than 7,500 people are employed by Capita in the North West, in sectors as diverse as property, document management, insurance and customer contact. A further 1,700 employees are based in the North East, and almost 13,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber, and our spending on local supply chain and acquisitions creates wealth locally.
Combining local knowledge with its expertise and assets, Capita will continue to support authorities across the region to identify their individual specific needs, while working towards the bigger vision and driving the Northern Powerhouse.
The Northern Powerhouse can’t happen without imaginative and dynamic planning, investment across all sectors and active engagement. This is a programme that lasts beyond the horizons of any government, and Capita is perfectly positioned to play a significant role in delivering the level of change required to see the north rise again.Richard McCarthy Senior director of Capita’s strategic services
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