Investing in the Future: Prioritising infrastructure spending vital to grow and rebalance the economy

Metro Dynamics yesterday launched a new report, urging the Government to champion investment in regional infrastructure to support economic growth and help eradicate the north-south divide.

The report calls for the Government to explicitly promote the Shared Prosperity Fund for regional economic rebalancing and recognise investment in infrastructure as critical to the long-term competitiveness of a modern economy. The Government is also urged to recognise vital role of Mayors and regional bodies such as the Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North, along with the National Infrastructure Commission, as important new enablers of regional planning and investment that should be used to help switch the emphasis from London and the South East.

The report encourages combined authorities to proactively engage key private sector players in their area at a strategic level, to deliver shared aims for transformational change. It also concludes that Metro Mayors should have strong statutory planning policies that promote, rather than constrain, economic growth, and calls for changes to the way infrastructure is planned for and appraised to increase the relative importance of rebalancing as a factor in investment decisions to encourage inclusive growth throughout the country, and particularly in less economically successful places.

Ben Lucas, Managing Director of Metro Dynamics, commented:

“We are all agreed that infrastructure is necessary for growth. However, the UK regions suffer from historical and sustained underinvestment in infrastructure which has affected our national economic performance and has had major consequences for inclusive economic growth outside of London and the South East.

“Without fundamental changes to the way in which infrastructure is planned and appraised – cohesively, ambitiously, and with a long-term vision – the challenges will remain. Our new report provides important insights and recommendations to address this situation and help rebalance the UK economy.”

The report prepared by Metro Dynamics and sponsored by The Peel Group was launched yesterday at an event in Warrington, by Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, who both supported its aspirations

Read the full report here