What next for the Northern Powerhouse?
That’s the title of a lecture by Lord Jim O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, who is championing the project and played a key role in negotiating the region’s devolution deal.
At the University of Sheffield tonight, he will discuss progress, policy and what to do now to meet long term ambitions for the economy.
Lord O’Neill became a life peer in May 2015, and was appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury in the same month. He has policy responsibility for the Northern powerhouse and city devolution.
He earned BA and MA degrees in economics from Sheffield University in 1978.
Sir Keith Burnett, univeristy vice chancellor, said the Northern Powerhouse was ‘vital’ if Britain is to “reboot its manufacturing sector, rebalance the economy and put aspiration and opportunity in reach of all.”
He added: “It is easy to see the Northern Powerhouse as a means to test the patience of Labour councillors, but it can work because the North is not simply councils and companies – but home to a combination of science, engineering and research facilities in universities that match anything in the South.”
He praised the work of Prof Keith Ridgway, at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing.
In little more than a decade, he had transformed a site of industrial decline into the foremost manufacturing innovation centre in the UK and, arguably, the world and created an apprentice training centre where young people were sponsored by companies.”