Invest in north, watch us go!

Martin McKervey''A partner at Nabarro LLP Martin is chair of Sheffield City Region LEP property and construction sector.
Martin McKervey''A partner at Nabarro LLP Martin is chair of Sheffield City Region LEP property and construction sector.
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You don’t have to look far to see infrastructure investment in the North is not at the level it should be.

Recently, there was an article published on the BBC news website about the ‘North’s outdated infrastructure costs UK billions’.

The report by the RSA City Growth Commission suggests the Government should give regional conurbations more say in national policy making and put transport and broadband between regional cities at the heart of investment decisions.

Hopefully the recent announcements on Local Growth Funding will present a promising opportunity for cities in the North.

In particular Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester have the opportunity to work together to combine strengths and form an economic hub.

The regional funding should deliver a much needed boost for our regional economies and can allow new homes to be built and essential improvements to existing transport infrastructure to be made.

This combined with large scale investment in national infrastructure projects such as HS2 not only provides a great opportunity to connect the North to the South but also for Northern cities to connect to each other.

Connecting these northern cities such as Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester could potentially be the start of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ to rival London.

This is further supported by the launch of our latest research piece: ‘Growing opportunities: A New Outlook for UK Real Estate’. The report clearly shows that real estate investors perceive London to be ‘over-valued’ and cities in the North to have the most potential, with Sheffield featuring in the ‘Top 5 Cities to watch’.

The report surveyed 239 investors who control combined assets of over £150bn. With this appetite to invest in the north we need to make sure our investment in infrastructure is fit for purpose.

If we can provide the level of investment required to improve our infrastructure I think there is a huge opportunity for the North to put itself on the map as one of the key areas to do business in the UK and contribute to the UK economy.