(L-R) Peel Ports CEO, Mark Whitworth with Andrew Percy MP Minister for the Northern Powerhouse
Peel Ports has hosted the inaugural meeting of the Northern Powerhouse partnership at the Port of Liverpool today (8 December). The initiative is creating a new network to help grow the Northern economy and aims to champion the area’s strengths and promote local developments.
Topics at the first meeting included transport and connectivity, the government’s industrial strategy, quality of life improvements and how partners can work together to support the Northern Powerhouse programme.
The event was attended by over 40 leading businesses, including Atkins, Barclays, Deloitte, Drax, Siemens and Vodafone, as well as universities, local enterprise partnerships and business organisations.
It was followed by a tour for delegates of the £400m Liverpool2 container terminal, which was opened at the start of November by Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade.
During the visit, Andrew Percy, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, met Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive of Peel Ports and Stephen Underwood, Chief Executive Officer of Peel Group.
Mark Whitworth said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister on his first visit to the port and to explain the transformation that is taking place here. We have made a significant investment in facilities, including the Liverpool2 terminal, providing exceptional business opportunities for the city region and indeed the wider North-west. I’m very pleased that the Minister appreciates the contribution the maritime sector makes to the economy and the importance of continued public investment in road and rail infrastructure to support private sector growth.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “We are determined to back business growth across the Northern Powerhouse to create an economy that works for everyone. We have some of the best businesses and talent in the world.
“So I’m delighted that Peel Ports and over 40 leading businesses are signed up and raring to go to make the most of all the region has to offer, in a real show of force for the North.
“Our new dedicated Northern Powerhouse website allows potential investors to see what fantastic opportunities there are in the North and showcase all it has to offer.”
The UK Government’s plan to boost economic growth across the north of England, a region of over 15 million people, aims to draw on the strengths of the regions, cities, towns and rural communities to drive the development of a Northern Powerhouse, creating an economic counter-balance to London and the South-east.
In June, Peel Ports endorsed a call by leading think tank, IPPR North, for closer co-operation between ports, supply chain operators and logistics companies based in the north of England to nurture vital economic sectors and take advantage of global opportunities. Responding to IPPR North’s wide-ranging research report ‘Gateways to the Northern Powerhouse - a Northern Port Strategy’, the port operator also advocated further investment in multimodal distribution capabilities and skills development to secure future growth for the region.
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