An ambitious and exciting showcase of all things Northern has just been launched, providing a timely reminder to all of our amazing places, cultural assets and of course the incredible spirit of innovation here which when unleashed has led to everything from the steam engine, the electric lightbulb, modern computing and graphene to be discovered.
The Great Exhibition of the North, which runs for 80 days and is the biggest event in the UK in 2018, also features a high profile business event this week, offering Northern city and business leaders the opportunity to again make the case for the crucial investment we need here to unlock the full potential of our economy.
The fiasco on our railways this summer has once again underlined why the North needs to have control over its transport infrastructure. Bruntwood, along with our colleagues at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, are convinced this has to begin with Transport for the North being devolved the necessary powers it needs to make a difference.
The Government has said that it wants the North to drive the Northern Powerhouse agenda, and I believe the way that our city leaders, our mayors, businesses and universities have united over the last two years, proves we have risen to this challenge.
But, now is the time for action, not warm words. The North can only go so far without long term investment that means we can turn plans into changes on the ground.
It’s great that heavyweight figures such as Business Secretary Greg Clark and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be in Newcastle this week for the covering transport, skills and energy. It is only by getting out of London that they will experience the incredible ambition, vibrancy and diversity here and better understand why the North must be allowed to steer its own course towards a more productive, inclusive and economically- important future.