by Pete Clarke

Pete Clarke talks to Insider about why the Northern Powerhouse must be a key topic of conversation

Pete Clarke has spoken to Insider about the Northern Powerhouse initiative and how it is perceived by entrepreneurs and investors.

“Whilst the term Northern Powerhouse continues to be prevalent across the media, it does not yet feel that people understand enough to be able to answer the ‘what does it mean for me and my business?’ question,” explains Pete. ‘When we’re meeting SMEs and their owners across the North, it simply isn’t a key topic of conversation.”

“Whilst I remain a huge supporter of the idea, more needs to be done including making it much clearer who is politically accountable for communicating and then delivering its objectives.”

“I still believe that improving connectivity and creating one enlarged economic area will undoubtedly have a positive impact on economic growth, employment prospects and living standards for businesses and people right across the region,” Pete adds.

Looking ahead, Pete says that “everything that we can do to address the skills shortage and the transport infrastructure under the Northern Powerhouse banner will assist the strength of local SMEs and allow them to compete on a national and international platform.”

“And it is that scope that perhaps means, given the ambition of the strategy and the long-term nature of infrastructure investment required, that it is inevitable that we should expect to measure progress in years and decades rather than weeks and months. Perhaps, for now, we’re expecting a little much from a strategy that is only a few years old.”

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This article was originally published by Insider.

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