The Northern Revolution
The government’s stated commitment of closing the economic gap between the North and the South of England is nothing new. Successive governments have tried, and dismally failed, to achieve this objective with a range of initiatives and projects including city challenge, the Northern Way and most recently Local Enterprise Partnerships.
There is little doubt that the great Northern cities of Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool have all benefitted from this array of regeneration and economic development activity – but at the same time London has managed to continue to grow at an accelerated rate.
So, perhaps it is not London that we should be concerned with, but ourselves: London is not a good benchmark for any English city or region.
The financial muscle of London means that the UK has avoided becoming another Greece, so why do we wish to further redistribute wealth from our capital city to the regions? Indeed, why would they continue to let us?
What we could, and should, rightly demand is a decentralisation of the management of government funds and more importantly government power, so that we can take greater responsibility for our own destiny. Greater Manchester has proved that with a limited amount of autonomy city regions can achieve a great deal. It is a model that needs to be supported, but it doesn’t go far enough.
A ‘Northern Revolution’ is what Downtown is calling for – we hope you are inspired to sign up for the campaign ahead by the words of some leading regional players that have contributed to this special feature…
Read on and enjoy!