The Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership is to take a prominent role in a new Northern Powerhouse body announced by Government today ( 6 July 2018).
Christine Gaskell will be vice-chair of the newly formed, Government-funded board called the ‘NP11’, made up of the chairs of the 11 Northern LEPs.
This new influential group has been set up to support the Government’s ambitions for the Northern Powerhouse across the region and was announced by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP at the first ever Northern Powerhouse Business Summit in Newcastle Gateshead.
The board will act as one voice representing each of their regions to work with and advise the Government on issues such as how to increase productivity, overcome regional disparities in economic growth and tackle the historic north-south divide.
Jake Berry said: “As we approach leaving the European Union we need to ensure that every area of the UK continues to economically flourish. The Northern Powerhouse will be a vital support to the UK in achieving this and so I am very pleased the eleven LEP Chairs have agreed to form the new NP11 board.
“For the first time since 1472, we will bring together the business voices of the Northern Powerhouse in our Council for the North. They have one task: to enrich all the peoples of the North of England – this is the foundation stone of the Northern Powerhouse and, with the skills and expertise of the NP11, we will shift the North’s economy into overdrive.
“Together we will deliver a North of England which is an economic powerhouse and one which can proudly take its place on the world stage both now and as we leave the EU.”
Christine Gaskell said: “To translate the Northern Powerhouse concept into increasing impact requires new types of conversations across the region and at the heart of this collaboration are common goals which transcend local interests. The NP11 will serve as a strong coherent regional voice with national government about the exciting potential of an innovation-led economy for the North.”
The three day business summit brought together leading figures from across Government and industry including Business Secretary, Greg Clark and the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. Both indicated their support for the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse as they talked about securing a Brexit that supports Northern businesses and how innovative small firms could provide the key to a growing and fairer global economy.
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will chair the NP11 Board. He said: “Our country’s success is built on northern industry, innovation, and determination. As LEP Chairs we have taken important steps in recent years to transform our own regional economies, and now I look forward to working collaboratively with the NP11 Vice-Chair, Christine Gaskell, and the other nine northern LEP Chairs to achieve extraordinary, sustained growth that we can all share in.”
The three day summit is part of the Great Exhibition of the North and is the first event of its kind ever to be held by Government. The summit was held on the site of where nineteenth century engineer George Stephenson designed the world’s first locomotive -the Rocket – during the Industrial Revolution.