George Osborne To Chair New Northern Powerhouse Think Tank

New Partnership Welcomed By Irwin Mitchell


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

George Osborne, the former Chancellor, is to chair a new think tank aimed at breathing new life into his flagship ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative.

Mr Osborne launched the plan over two years ago and aimed to boost the economy in the North and rebalance growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

The board of the not-for-profit Northern Powerhouse Partnership will include business figures from across the north of England, as well as political figures to ensure city leaders are represented.

In his speech launching the initiative in Manchester, Mr Osborne will say: "The Northern Powerhouse is here to stay.

"When I launched the idea of Northern Powerhouse I said I would work tirelessly with anyone and everyone to make it a reality. But even I have been taken aback by the huge support it's attracted, across political parties, businesses and communities.

"In the space of just two years, we've created powerful new mayors, committed to huge new transport and science projects, and attracted investment from around the world.

"There's a real excitement now in the north about what we can achieve if we work together.

"I don't want us to lose that. That's why I'm so pleased major businesses, civic leaders and others have worked with me to create this new Northern Powerhouse Partnership. I'm also glad that the Government has given its support."

Last year, law firm Irwin Mitchell launched its UK Powerhouse report with leading economic consultancy, Cebr. The regular reports analyses data to provide a ‘nowcast’ of economic performance in 38 cities across the UK.

Expert Opinion
“We welcome the announcement as the Northern Powerhouse initiative is in much need of a boost following months of uncertainty.

“Our own research predicts that the economic gap between London and the North will grow by £20bn in the next 10 years and we believe it’s vital that in order to rebalance the economy, a coordinated push that isn’t just driven by politicians but also business leaders is required.”
Niall Baker, CEO & Partner

Ed Cox, director of the Institute of Public Policy Research North said: "It remains to be seen whether this new think tank will develop an inclusive approach to the northern economy because, to date, George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse has been too narrowly focused on big cities and metro mayors.

"Vital as these are, they will not address the economic and social challenges raised by the Brexit vote."