Press release

Government ministers kick off industrial strategy engagement programme in North West

Ministers to meet businesses and workers across the North West to hear their views on what the priorities should be for the region.

  • ministers will begin a UK wide regional engagement tour with visits across the North West, explaining how plans for a modern Industrial Strategy will benefit the region
  • Business Secretary Greg Clark will host an evening reception with the North West’s leading businesses and organisations at the Tate Liverpool
  • Science Minister Jo Johnson will visit Jodrell Bank Observatory in Macclesfield and Industry Minister Jesse Norman will tour an aero company in Greater Manchester

Regional engagement on the government’s Industrial Strategy proposals will continue today (9 February 2017), with ministers meeting with businesses and workers across the North West to hear their views on what the priorities should be for the region.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson will be visiting Jodrell Bank Observatory in Macclesfield which hosts the Lovell Telescope, the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. Jo Johnson will announce today a significant boost for UK commercial space sector, with a £10 million scheme to incentivise the commercial spaceflight market.

Industry Minister Jesse Norman will be in Dunkinfield, Greater Manchester, touring Hyde Aero Products, who employ over 400 skilled specialist workers, manufacturing products for industries ranging from the aerospace sector, mining and the scientific industry.

The Business Secretary will then lead an evening reception at the Tate in Liverpool with business leaders and organisations from across the North West, discussing the business community’s views on the priorities for a modern Industrial Strategy.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

The North West has a world-leading reputation in a number of the UK’s leading sectors and industries from creative industries through to advanced manufacturing.

Through our modern Industrial Strategy we plan to build on the region’s exceptional local strengths and make it one of the most competitive areas of the country to start and grow a business as part of the Northern Powerhouse.

We launched our strategy as a green paper because we want this to be a conversation with businesses and employees. Today my ministerial team and I are visiting the North West to hear and discuss how we create a high-skilled economy where every place can meet its potential.

Interim Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP Asif Hamid said:

It is a pleasure to welcome Greg Clark here to Tate Liverpool to discuss the government’s Industrial Strategy. Government’s ambition to develop a high skilled and competitive economy that benefits people throughout the UK and particularly in the Northern Powerhouse is one we share.

Executive Director at Tate Liverpool Andrea Nixon, said:

We are delighted to be hosting this evening’s reception. It will give organisations across the North West the opportunity to discuss issues that matter to them.

In its green paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’, the government has outlined 10 key pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12 week consultation period, inviting contributions from industries, businesses, local groups and workers across the North West.

The pillars cover a broad range of themes including ‘skills’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘affordable energy and clean growth’. The strategy proposes plans for ‘driving growth across the country’, with a framework to build on local strengths and reduce regional disparities in opportunities and prosperity.

The government has issued an open invitation to industries, businesses and local groups in the North West to visit the GOV.UK website and help set the priorities for a modern Industrial Strategy. The consultation period runs for 12 weeks after which the government will consider responses before publishing a white paper later in the year.

Notes to Editors

Industrial Strategy in the North West

With a clear ambition of creating an economy that works for everyone, the green paper contains a number of proposals designed to benefit the North West such as:

  • building on the work of Transport for the North and supporting key transport investments, such as the M60 North West Quadrant, and providing development funding for Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • supporting world-class research and innovation strengths in local economies, such as the National Graphene Institute in Manchester - the national centre for graphene research in the UK
  • improving access to finance for businesses right across the country to grow, including through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

View the green paper.

Local Growth Fund – Northern Powerhouse

As part of government’s efforts to drive growth across the country and deliver an economy that works for everyone, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced in January a £556 million cash boost for the Northern Powerhouse at a regional Cabinet meeting in the North West, with £327.7 million funding for the North West region to create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

This is in addition to the £1.2 billion the region has already been awarded, helping Local Enterprise Partnerships create jobs, support businesses and stimulate growth.

The Local Growth Fund provides targeted financial support to locally determined projects and the £327.7 million funding will support a number of key projects in the region including an Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre North West at the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury. This investment will provide capital to local small and medium businesses, driving the growth of innovative young life sciences businesses in the region.