Peel Ports, owners of the Port of Liverpool, has become one of the latest members of the government’s Northern Powerhouse Partnership Programme, reinforcing the company’s commitment to driving continued investment and innovation in the north of England.
The programme is creating a new network of leaders who strongly believe in the potential to grow the Northern economy and are committed to delivering this growth. The initiative aims to champion the North’s strengths, as well as promote local developments across transport, skills and innovation, culture, and devolution.
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.
A long-term advocate of the initiative, Peel Ports’ flagship project – the £400m Liverpool2 container terminal – is due to be official opened later this week. Liverpool is already the UK’s largest transatlantic port and will be one of Europe’s most modern container terminals.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “We are determined to create a Northern Powerhouse and are clear we must work closely with businesses to pool the abundance of talent across the North to make this a reality. Today dozens of bold businesses are sending a clear message by joining us in this quest to make the Northern Powerhouse an even better place to live, work and invest in. But this is just the start, and I would encourage other leading companies to sign up to our new scheme, so we can continue to work together to unleash the full potential of our great northern towns and cities.”
Peel Ports CEO, Mark Whitworth said: “Our partnership with the UK Government is further evidence of our mutual ambitions to enable the north to thrive economically and to attract investment and innovation to the region. This agreement comes at a significant time of transition for both the UK Government and Peel Ports and we look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship together in the interests of securing the success of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
“Our £400m investment in Liverpool2 encapsulates the Northern Powerhouse vision. Ports are fundamental to the performance of the entire UK economy and this represents a massive growth opportunity, particularly for the northern economy. With the imminent opening of Liverpool2, global shippers will be granted ‘ship-to-door’ access to the UK's major import centres via the most economic and lowest carbon route and provide northern UK-based exporters with a more competitive route to market.
“The Port of Liverpool, alongside other northern ports in the UK, sits at the heart of some of the UK’s most dynamic national growth clusters, connected by multimodal transport links by land, sea and rail. The north’s impressive tri-modal transport links will support long-term government policy on transport and infrastructure throughout the UK driving supply chain efficiencies, cutting emissions and encouraging future investment in the industry.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: "We are determined to create an economy that works for everyone, which is why we’re backing the Northern Powerhouse with the investment and powers it needs to unleash its huge untapped potential. And with 187,000 jobs created in the North in the past year alone and billions invested through devolution deals, Northern businesses signed up to our new partner programme can be a catalyst for economic growth, not just in the North but throughout the country."
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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