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Prime Minister: Manchester Should Look To The US

'Northern Powerhouse' rhetoric continues during visit to Allied London's £1bn St John's project

Written by . Published on January 8th 2015.

Prime Minister: Manchester Should Look To The US

PRIME Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne visited Manchester city centre today to continue the 'Northern Powerhouse' rhetoric during a two-day tour of the north west.

'We need a strong London, but we need a Northern Powerhouse too'

Speaking to an audience of over 200 business leaders at Allied London's £1bn St John's project at the former-ITV Granada studios, Cameron set out a vision of a UK less reliant on London and more like the US city model.

Cameron urged Manchester, along with Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, to look to the US where cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston had created 'major centres of industry' to compete with the might of New York.

"We need a strong London, but we need a Northern Powerhouse too", he added. "Economic might should not just be held in one city, but spread right across the country."

The Prime Minister said that a 'critical mass' of people within cities 'amplifies ideas, business and jobs'. Northern cities, he added, should strive to achieve that critical mass.

Downing Street said that in 2013 the north west had the joint fastest growth in output per head in the UK and has seen an average of 200 more people in employment per day over the past year.

During the address, Chancellor George Osborne stated the intention to create 100,000 new jobs for the region, alongside installing 75,000 children in 'outstanding schools' and building 25,000 new homes.

Osborne also pledged to make the North West a world centre of 'scientific innovation', deliver on more devolved powers and an elected mayor for Manchester, as well as making every resident £2,000 better off by 2030. There's the small matter of staying in power for another fifteen years, of course.

The Prime Minister also hailed Allied London's £1bn redevelopment scheme as a perfect example of how public and private bodies can work together.

Allied London entered into a joint venture with Manchester City Council in the summer of 2013 to purchase the 13.5 acre former-ITV site for £26.5m.

The St John's Quarter masterplan seeks to create a 'vibrant creative neighbourhood' consisting of studios, residential properties, leisure, retail and green spaces.

The regeneration project also includes the recently announced 200-suite Manchester Grande 'event hotel' and The Factory, a new £78m arts and theatre space announced by Osborne in December 2014 and due to be completed by 2019.

George Osborne on the Metrolink in 2014George Osborne on the Metrolink in 2014

George Osborne, said: “Allied London has an impressive track record of working with the public sector to help shape our vision for the regional economy. Its delivery of Spinningfields has given Manchester an entirely new business district that has brought more and more attention to the city and I expect St. John’s to do the same for residential in the city.

"Initiatives like this are essential to building a Northern Powerhouse for the benefit of local people and businesses as well as the whole UK economy.”

Michael Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: “The creation of St. John’s is an extremely exciting project and the Prime Minister and Chancellor being here in Manchester is testament to its importance to the city’s cultural landscape in the next decade and beyond."


Main image, L-R: Suresh Gorasia (Financial Director, Allied London), Andrea George (Commercial Director, Allied London), Prime Minister David Cameron and Jonathan Raine (Associate Director, Allied London).

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

What places like manchester, liverpool, leeds and Sheffield need is quite simply for central government to get out the way. It should not be for someone in an office 200 miles away to dictate which places benefit from a new cycle lane or design a skills programme without any connection to, or knowledge of local needs. The current model is an affront to democracy and intelligent place making. Forget about all this 'Northern Powerhouse' guff, I will most likely vote for the party offering the best devolution package. If it's good enough for Scotland, it's good enough for Manchester.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

Labour are the most londoncentric party there is! They have done next to nothing for the North West, apart from stacking people up on benefits.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

Surely we want whoever is in power be it Labour, Tory or Lib Dem to get out of the way and let towns and cities get on with it themselves, just as long as the centre actually lets go. No other developed country is as centralised as we are in the UK where around 85% of taxation raised locally is spent for us by politicians and bureaucrats in London.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

That should have read up to 85% of public money spent locally is decided for us by politicians and bureaucrats in London.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

Talk about brass neck. Cameron and Osborne will take the credit for just about anything won't they, despite their economic mismanagement and complete blind spot for social issues. To give them credit though, the Northern Powerhouse rhetoric has at least focussed minds towards the needs of our great Northern cities. It now needs to be backed up with real resources and real devolution, rather than vague promises whilst shovelling money into Transport for London's already bloated budget. Can Labour or the Lib Dems take up the mantle?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

What did the Labour government do for Manchester or the north west in its last spell in charge? The conservatives will bring investment, jobs and a more balanced economy if they get the chance.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

They helped fund the Commonwealth Games.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

Post 1997, didn't MCC face a bit of battle in persuading a very reluctant Blair government to fund & get behind the Commonwealth Games though? Well, so the MEN were saying at the time. (So unlike Heseltine & Major's preceding attitude to Manchester's aspirations eh folks?) I believe the then idea of bidding to bring the Olympic Games to their beloved London, suddenly focussed & changed New Labour minds.

Calum McGJanuary 9th 2015.

Ah, bless you Anon 1. Cos of course Labour did a brilliant job! ;)

crisbyJanuary 9th 2015.

I'm getting a bit tired of the Tory chorus that 'Labour did nothing for the north'. Labour invested heavily in regeneration in east Manchester, Hulme, also on Merseyside and in Tyneside and west Cumbria. In Greater Manchester there was also the Metrolink expansion. The Northern Hub idea, that Osborne keeps claiming credit for, goes back to 2009. A lot of this wasn't finished properly because of the credit crunch caused by the banks, and because of Tory cuts. The Tories did nothing for the north (in fact spending was slashed and most of the councils hit hardest by the cuts are in the north), until the genral election started to loom. But credit where it's due, Cameron and Osborne have taken the devolution idea much further than the Blairites who hated the idea and sabotaged Prescott's ambition for regional assemblies by making sure they wouldn't have any power.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameJanuary 9th 2015.

Labour was only prepared to assist metrolink with the rather stupid and I suspect corrupt TIF plan that was proposed by Dick Leese and Howie Bernsein. The coalition have taken more of an interest in boosting Manchester and backed it up with real cash and plans. Let's hope they are still in power post May and we keep Labour out. In time, we may even get the idiots out of the Town Hall

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

Yeah, and Hulme is still a dump anon, so that was a job well done... and in East Mcr they flattened some grot but also a load of decent terraced stuff that would look far better done up than all the modern, faceless crap there now.

crisbyJanuary 9th 2015.

Fair point about TIF your grace, but nonetheless the investment was done, therefore more than 'nothing'. Anon, I know people who live in the new bits of Hulme and they don't see it as a dump, it's certainly better than it was. In East Manchester (where I live, by the way, in a house which is neither faceless not crap) a lot of the 'decent terraced stuff' that was flattened was empty because no one wanted to live there.

James SmithJanuary 11th 2015.

Don't forget that Labour also had the great 'pathway' scheme, a majestic idea of flattening down fine streets of housing in the likes of broughton (and anfield) and replacing them with cheap modern shit. No funding for redevelopment unless you knock em down. Nice one Mr Prescott. Thankfully they were out on their ear before the bulldozers moved in.

Mark FullerJanuary 9th 2015.

It's a cultural thing to undervalue northern England. Labour and the Conservatives have both been complicit in perpetuating this cultural meme. However, this does appear to be changing at last, and the Tories deserve some credit for this. Labour tend to take this area for granted, and the last administration displayed a bias towards London and Scotland. The Scottish transport secretary, Alistair Darling, did Manchester no favours, blocking the "big bang" Metro- Link expansion. The prospect of a more autonomous Manchester, at the centre of a northern cultural and economic powerhouse, although welcomed by some local Labour figures, is profoundly threatening to the national Labour Party. A prosperous region, is less likely to be a socialist region. Progress on vital infrastructure, notably the Northern Hub, has accelerated with obstructive Labour out of the way : long may that continue.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 10th 2015.

Well put! Agreed

Duke FameJanuary 11th 2015.

Very true, traditional Labour strongholds will do well to vote someone else in, not only IMHO will they do a better job but it will also make Labour take note. Labour's obsession with keeping individual's ambition in check has kept Northern cities lagging behind.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2015.

Manchester should look to the US. Why? Patronising advice as usual. Manchester has been growing well before the coalition came into power.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 11th 2015.

After devolution we will be more like US political system

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2015.


AnonymousJanuary 11th 2015.

Northern powerhouse is an old idea - www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/prescott-unite-to-get-wealth-share-1100514…

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2015.

There are a few movements underfoot trying to push for democratic change. Manchester has traditionally been at the forefront of it since Peterloo. If you are interested in some form of regional parliament/devolution - and it seems that most people commenting are - then dig around, get involved and show your support.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

Allied's empire marches on. Question: will they get to own/operate/profit from the (publically funded) Factory?

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