New economic development models for cities in the UK

Publication date:
Frances Northrop, Director, Programmes and Practice ; Rachel Laurence Director, Programmes and Practice and Adrian Bua Researcher, New Economics Foundation

With these words, then Chancellor George Osborne triumphantly unveiled plans for a “Northern Powerhouse” in Manchester in October 2015. It was the Treasury’s response to the deepening divide between the economies of the south of England – dominated by the global city of London – and of the north. Seen in terms of devolution, these plans sought to rebalance the UK’s economy by replicating the economic “success” of London in northern English cities through “City Deals” focusing on enterprise zones, housing and transport infrastructure, high profile visitor attractions and sectors of high growth such as advanced manufacturing. Government funding for these projects was meant to attract further inward investment from global capital.