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Northern manufacturers urge fresh boost to growth

manufacturing

Siemens, BAE, BT and Astra-Zeneca are among 30 major manufacturers backing a new campaign calling on the next government to boost growth in the North West by committing to greater economic devolution and the promotion of private-sector investment in the region. Priming the Powerhouse - A Business Manifesto for England's North West - which is also backed by the universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster as well as the accountancy firms EY and PwC, local policymakers and MPs - urges greater collaboration to boost the region's science base and improve local skill levels. Following a grand devolution decision to Manchester, business leaders want to see the process extended to Liverpool as early as possible so that the two cities can thrive in tandem. The coalition also advocates the acceleration of investment in infrastructure such as the long-overdue HS2 project, in order to improve collaboration across the Pennines and drive growth throughout the North. Making the region more attractive to technology and science-based SMEs is top of the agenda, with venture capital in place to support the sector in the sub-regions of the North seen as a priority. The region is already a leader in fields such as advanced materials and energy research, data intensive science and the life sciences, and should be building on this reputation by bringing in new investment, says the report. A Talent Bank is also proposed within the manifesto, which could be set up in the region to promote engineering careers to students, working closely with national careers services.

 

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