Conservative and Labour Pledge to Decrease the North-South Divide

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    With another general election looming, the main UK political parties have released their manifestos. Along with Brexit, the environment and the NHS, one of the main items for both the Conservative and Labour deals is the North-South divide.

    This topic should be of particular interest to property investors – particularly those in the North. Any activities that benefit and grow the North will have a positive effect on the property market there.

    What do the Conservative Party say?

    The Conservatives plan to spend £100 billion on additional infrastructure throughout the UK. The Midlands and North of England are key beneficiaries to this investment through Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub.

    Northern Powerhouse Rail will transform the North of the country, bringing with it high speed trains between key Northern cities of Leeds and Manchester. This route would eventually also connect Liverpool, Tees Valley, Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle.

    The Midlands Rail hub would see a similar strengthening of links between Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Hereford, Leicester, Nottingham and Worcester.

    Although HS2 is still a great ambition for the Conservative Party, it now isn’t expected to reach Leeds or Manchester until as late as 2040.

    It isn’t just with transport that the Conservatives plan on transforming the North; investment into the region will bring new industry here. They have already seen success with this strategy through Rotherham’s Advanced Manufacturing Park; which is now home to top firms such as McLaren and Boeing.

    Boris Johnson has further promised improved public services and better connectivity via 5G and fast broadband.

    What do the Labour Party say?

    The Labour Manifesto promises similar policies around Northern infrastructure investment. They propose long-term investment into Crossrail for the North to improve connectivity between regions. Labour also state that they will complete the full HS2 route through Northern England and into Scotland.

    Decentralisation is another key theme for the Labour Party. They plan on moving the political centre of the country away from the capital with the creation of a North-based National Transformation Fund Unit. This is a key part of The Treasury and will have supporting regional offices across England.

    The Local Transformation Fund would allow each English region to fund local infrastructure projects. It would be led by key regional leaders in commerce, trade unions, and councils. This will allow regions to rebuild their local economies on their own terms.

    Their well-reported promise to deliver free fast broadband to everyone in the country will have a significant effect on the Northern economy. By enabling businesses to establish themselves in and trade with previously low-connected regions; an-until-now-untapped economic potential can flourish in these areas.

    With the next government almost certainly Conservative or Labour as long as these parties stick to their promises a lessening of the North-South divide is virtually guaranteed. A stronger Northern economy means an even healthier property market, heralding a very bright future for the region’s property investors

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