A recent statement at the Tory Party Conference saw Chancellor Philip Hammond promise £400 million extra funding for road and rail in the North and Midlands.
The Northern Powerhouse was at the heart of the annual conference as the Conservatives promised great things for North and Midland cities.
There is set to be £55.7bn invested in rail projects that are specifically designed to ensure every part of the North is connected to the HS2 high-speed rail line. The HS2 is due to run to Manchester and Leeds but does not travel towards the North East.
The announcement will ensure HS2 infrastructure can link up with future Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Rail projects, whilst keeping open all options for services through Manchester Piccadilly.
Chancellor Hammond also announced £100 million for road improvements, including ten road schemes in the North East. This is the first step towards creating a rail network that is to be known as Northern Powerhouse Rail, as Mr Hammond says.
So what does the Northern Powerhouse really mean for Manchester?
This investment clearly shows the Government’s recognition of the growth and potential Manchester has to offer. With strong existing transport links such as motorways, tramlines and numeral train stations (plus one of the busiest UK airports outside of London) – this development will only make Manchester stronger.
Not only this, but this will also cut traffic congestion and journey times, as well as improving connections – all of which will unlock sites for new job-creating businesses and potential new housing developments.
Many believe the Northern Powerhouse was pushed aside on political regimes following the post-referendum politics. However, it is evident that the Northern Powerhouse is back on the agenda for the political parties.
The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review (NPIER) 2016 found that the North’s economy has the potential to be around an extra £100bn (15%) bigger – with the potential for an extra 850,000 jobs and a 4% increase in productivity – all by 2050.
Former Chancellor George Osborne was the architect of the Northern Powerhouse policy which was created to improve the economy of the North of England, largely improving transport links between the major cities.
Nigel Foster, the Strategy Director for sub-national transport body Transport for the North (TfN) stated to Transport Network “Our plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail will transform the economy in the North and can be delivered in phases, building on committed and planned investment.”
The promise of improved infrastructure is not only great for residents of the North, but it is also great for investors. This is because effectively, an improved infrastructure allows for more jobs which will mean more people living or commuting into Manchester and therefore, a higher demand for property.
More people living in the city will also generate a trend of people demanding more high-spec properties as the city will attract more young professionals.
The future of the Northern Powerhouse is in the government’s hands and the future is looking promising for the infrastructure of Manchester and the North.