Devolution enables the North to take greater responsibility for the planning and delivery of its infrastructure networks, but it is important that a coherent strategy is put in place to ensure that this is done effectively.
The report recommends that a Council of the North is established to undertake this role alongside a series of specific interventions for improving the provision of the North’s core economic infrastructure networks.
Taking control – leadership for the North
- To oversee the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse vision, we support the creation of a Council of the North with representation of LEPs alongside metro Mayors and Leaders of local authorities.
- To ensure the North’s balanced growth and improved productivity, a Northern Infrastructure Strategy should be developed.
- A Northern Spatial Plan should be produced to guide and coordinate integrated infrastructure development.
- The provision of lifelong learning and development should be co-ordinated to ensure the North has the future skills required by employers and to deliver its infrastructure investment programme.
- To kick-start the North’s economic resurgence, central Government should increase the level of infrastructure investment and empower Transport for the North to determine transport investment priorities.
- So the North can, over time, fund growth from its own resources, central Government should devolve sufficient revenue raising and borrowing powers.
- The North must adopt a more proactive and ambitious approach to encouraging private investment.
Investing in our future – strategic objectives for the North
- The North should fully develop its specialisations in renewables and new energy technologies to maintain its position as the country’s energy powerhouse.
- Transport for the North must develop programmes that enhance network integration and connectivity, enable economic development and ensure that the region is ready for the arrival of HS2.
- Transport for the North should champion the adoption of new technologies in both passenger and freight transport, including the digital railway, autonomous vehicles and mobility as a service.
- The North must acquire and maintain best in class digital infrastructure with complete geographic coverage to unlock economic growth and enhance the delivery of infrastructure across the region.
- To address the North’s housing shortage, local authorities should put in place standard approaches to assessing need and have access to flexible funding arrangements for new developments.
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