Commenting on today’s Autumn Budget, Chris Oglesby, Chief Executive of Bruntwood, the customer-focused regional property company and a board member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – an influential group of Northern business and city leaders said:
“Increasing investment in research and development spending as part of the government’s new Industrial Strategy is to be welcomed and we look forward to seeing further details for critical sectors such as life sciences when the White Paper is unveiled next week.
“We are encouraged by the focus on investing in future technologies that will shape our future, and look forward to launching our new technology incubators in Manchester and Leeds in the coming months, which will support innovation in artificial intelligence and the data economy – two growth areas for the UK highlighted by the Prime Minister this week.”
Mr Oglesby added: “We are pleased too to see the launch of the new £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund to improve connectivity in regional cities, such as Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region, which are receiving £250m, £243m and £143m respectively. Such investment is an economic necessity if we are serious about addressing the productivity gap in the UK.”
On the issue of long-term transport infrastructure investment, he said: “It was pleasing to see funding committed last month to ensure that HS2 and future Northern Powerhouse Rail will connect together.
“It is essential that the Government backs this up by committing to funding the substantial long-term investment needed to upgrade the North’s infrastructure so it can fulfil its economic potential.”