Key voices in the Northern Powerhouse have called for a high-speed rail network linking the North to the South by 2030. Such a link would need to generate £100 billion for the northern economy. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) is made up of northern MPs, and leaders from local community and business. They say that delivering a high-speed Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) at the same time as HS2 will reduce the North-South divide. It will also provide a healthy boost to the North’s economy. HS2’s phase 2b, which will connect Manchester and Leeds to London and the West Midlands is due in 2032/2033.
According to the NPP, opening an NPR station in Liverpool would lead to the creation of 20,000 jobs. As well as £703 million for the economy. Future generations would also benefit, as young people would be able to pursue further education, jobs and apprentices around the UK. For the Powerhouse to be successful creating a skilled workforce across the north will prove vital.
This becomes far more possible when commuting times from places in need of highly skilled people, such as Bradford, occurs. Such people will likely come from key cities like Manchester (from 60 minutes to 25 minutes), London (171 minutes to 92 minutes) and Newcastle (123 minutes to 68 minutes). Northern communities other than the major cities will receive the support they need too.
As NPP Vice-Chair Lord Jim O’Neill states, “without connecting as quickly and efficiently as possible the many closely-located towns and cities of the Northern Powerhouse, it will not be able to create the agglomeration benefits that would transform the economy of the UK, never mind just the North.”
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford City Council is further calling for a Bradford city-centre stop for NPR, which will unlock “at least £1.3 billion of additional economic benefits.” This is thanks to the much-improved connections to other northern cities.
It is not just employment and educational benefits that will help the regional economy. Better transport links will also improve opportunities for local tourism, leisure and social activities for families.
A Global North
The North will be connected to an international market should NPR be established. Currently only 3 million people are within two hours of Manchester Airport – the international hub of the Northern Powerhouse. The NPP asserts that the NPR would increase this number to 10 million.
An NPR underground station at Manchester Piccadilly has also been proposed. In which will link HS2 and NPR trains and connect a second Greater Manchester station at Manchester Airport. This has been described as “a once in a century opportunity” for the area and wider northern region by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
We at the NPG are proud to be supporting investors buying property in the North, and welcome the news. These developments secure many of our customers investments, and will support the Northern cities, and the surrounding northern communities. If you are looking to share in that success with us, feel free to check out developments we are working on.