Business Secretary Greg Clark and Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for the Economy Richard Leese have today (30 October) set out progress towards a Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, one of the UK’s first Local Industrial Strategies.
Developed in collaboration with regional partners, the Local Industrial Strategy for Greater Manchester will harness the regions distinctive strengths and build on them in areas like health research and advanced materials to unlock growth and boost people’s earning power across the region’s cities and places.
Once launched, the Local Industrial Strategy will capitalise on Greater Manchester’s long and established history of entrepreneurship and enterprise, its devolved health and social care budget of £6 billion per annum and its position as home to one of the largest graduate pools in Europe.
The progress statement published today showcases the work that has been done so far by local leaders in the Northern Powerhouse who are working with the government and businesses to identify economic opportunities that the region can seize in the years to come.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
To unlock the potential of areas up and down the country it is essential that key decisions and resources are taken from Westminster and given to our great cities, towns and their supporting regions.
The Local Industrial Strategy we are developing will embody the unique spirit of Greater Manchester with a long-term plan to build on its exceptional strengths in areas including technology and research and ensure it is at the forefront of growing industries like clean growth and AI.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
To allow Greater Manchester to thrive and drive productivity and prosperity we need to make sure there are good jobs, a skilled workforce and businesses are supported, and this is what the plan is about.
We want to use the strategy to build on Greater Manchester’s unique legacy of industrial ambition and creativity to create a thriving, digitally-enabled green city. We want to work with businesses on the strategy to create an innovative plan that improves the lives of everyone who lives and works here.
Government committed to Local Industrial Strategies as part of its Industrial Strategy White Paper, building on the strong foundations of our city, growth and devolution deals to work in partnership with local leaders to drive productivity. All parts of England are now working to develop them by early 2020.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said:
It’s great to see such progress being made in the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy. With government working closely together with businesses, local leaders and partners, we’re in a great position to boost economic growth and productivity across Greater Manchester and the whole of the Northern Powerhouse.
Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for the Economy, Richard Leese, said:
The Local Industrial Strategy is a unique opportunity to spread the benefits of prosperity across the city-region and we want to use this to deliver inclusive growth and quality employment.
We have a proven track record in Greater Manchester of collaboration and innovation and using the opportunities of devolution to drive change and the Local Industrial Strategy is another way for us to do this. We want to make sure we put together the right plan for Greater Manchester and will be working with businesses, voluntary sectors and residents on it.
Once launched, the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy will provide a long-term plan for alignment of local and national decision making to increase productivity and deliver an economy that works for all.
This will include setting out how the health innovation sector and Greater Manchester’s unique devolution deal will drive the UK’s response to the Ageing Society Grand Challenge, and Greater Manchester’s efforts to meet the Clean Growth Grand Challenge following the Mayor’s Green Summit earlier this year.
The progress statement follows the government having confirmed that £3 million will be invested to help strengthen digital skills in Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas. The funding announced in the Budget will see the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) team up with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) for the pilot project.
Employers and training providers will identify which digital skills are in short supply in the local area and design a targeted approach that can help people prepare to move into digital roles.
Greater Manchester is the largest digital cluster outside of London in the UK with almost 8,000 digital businesses employing more than 80,0000 people.