The secret's out – we’re a Northern Powerhouse Partner! We’re excited to hit the ground running as this role will see us broaden our commitment to helping drive the northern economy.
The Northern Powerhouse is government’s vision for a super-connected, globally-competitive northern economy, and the Partners Programme is a network of businesses who are dedicated to championing the North.
Don’t forget about the role of small businesses!
The UK as a whole has seen government backed programmes and strategies aimed at job creation, closing the skills gap, driving innovation and exporting. We’ve delivered on numerous campaigns promoting these initiatives and it has highlighted to us the important role SMEs play in contributing to our economy, afterall 99.9% of private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs! We’ve found that SMEs are diverse, openminded and creative and many are on the breaking edge of technology making them the perfect environment for combating the skills gap. By 2025 Leeds and Manchester will experience the sharpest increase in the number of SMEs in the UK, a 26% growth in both cities - so watch this space!
Location, location, location
There has been growing interest amongst companies considering the option of relocating or setting up offices in the North of England. Channel 4 may be one of the most headline-grabbing organisations moving to Leeds, but they aren’t the only ones calling Leeds home, with a state-of-the-art HM Revenue and Customs office coming to Wellington Place in 2020 as part of the around 20 strategic hubs being set up across the UK. The creative and digital sectors are continually expanding with investment for Creative Industry Clusters in Leeds and York. Brands getting involved with the programme and developing the clusters include Aardman, Burberry, Sony and British Fashion Company. We have also seen on-going investment from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) resulting in more than 1,500 jobs in the local region!
There’s also potential developments of Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2 as well as the expansion of services already taking place. In fact, one forecast suggests 143% passenger growth for Leeds station and predicts it will soon be busier than Gatwick airport currently is! The plans for Leeds South Bank are one of Europe’s largest city centre regeneration initiatives which will ultimately double the size of Leeds City Centre. The past two years has witnessed over £500million of investment attracted to the area and with over 250 businesses located in the area, it’s already making waves within the local economy!
There is an abundance of proof out there that the North is taking huge strides to establish itself as a global leading region and small businesses are pivotal for ensuring this. We’re excited by our new role as a Northern Powerhouse Partner and we’re ready to represent small businesses across the North.