The Institute of Directors has announced its blueprint for a “business-led” initiative to drive the next stage of the Northern Powerhouse.
In a joint statement, Jonathan Oxley, Mike Perls and Graham Robb, the chairs of the IoD in the Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and North East respectively, have urged businesses to become “heroes” of the Powerhouse.
Following the analysis of pan-Northern capabilities highlighted in Transport for North’s Independent Economic Review, they have identified a series of industry clusters that will act as a catalyst for the next stage of Northern Powerhouse activity, including advanced manufacturing, health innovation and fintech.
In a joint statement, they said: “In the current climate of political change the IoD is sending out a signal that business not only wants to see action to rebalance the economy but is willing to play its part.
“We believe the Northern Powerhouse has the potential to create globally significant, functional economic clusters. Transport infrastructure will be an enabler of this objective but it is long term and is not the entire solution. Business leaders have a critical role to play right now and must move to fill the political vacuum and take ownership of this initiative.
“We need to move away from a geographically competitive environment between cities and regions to a more collaborative, cluster-led approach. We will act as a catalyst for business-led, cluster-specific missions led by inspirational leaders.
“Across the North of England business has the talent and ability to compete in all sectors and by working with Government, UKTI and our colleagues we will be able to demonstrate Northern business prowess across the globe.
“In the coming months we will be announcing specific, cluster-based activity and calling on business leaders to take part and set the direction that our new Government should follow.”
It is the first time that all three regional IoD chairman in the North have come together for a joint initiative.
Each industry cluster will be led by individuals with a proven track record of working with education providers and international partners. Each cluster leader will have set objectives and a timetable to deliver them.
The other sectors completing the IoD Powerhouse strategy are: life sciences, nuclear, renewables, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, digital healthcare and financial and professional services.