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Dr Tim Vorley discusses the One North project

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

We asked Dr Tim Vorley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Sheffield University Management School, to comment on the recent £15billion, 15-year One North transport plan:

“This represents  a tremendous opportunity for the north of England – with better links, the these five cities [Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle] can work together to create an economy that is stronger together than they are individually. London and the south east is a city state, and there is a n0rth-south divide, so if the north of England is to realise its potential, these cities need to grow through closer cooperation to attract investment as opposed simply competing with each other.

 “While there has been a great deal of hype behind high-speed rail (HS2) bringing the north closer to the south, investing in the infrastructure of northern cities offers an alternative means to generate growth. Creating a ‘super region’ of these five cities offers a way of securing growth potential – it will not only promote endogenous growth, but also act as a magnet for external investment to the north of England.

“Although the capital investment in infrastructure is a core element of the proposed project, it will have ramifications in the region far beyond that. Unlocking the specialist knowledge, skills and expertise is extremely important for the north, but also the UK economy more widely. For Sheffield it would enable the city to build on its strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and IT, and healthcare, and create new opportunities by working with other northern cities.”

The One North project proposes that a 125mph trans-Pennine rail link, a faster link to Newcastle and better access to Manchester Airport are needed.

It has been developed by an alliance of five cities – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.