The announcement this week that the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition will be returning to Manchester is the latest sign that the North is firmly back on the political agenda.
The conference will take place over two days in February 2017 at Manchester Central and is expected to attract some 2,500 delegates from Northern UK businesses and significant interest from overseas.
The North is thriving. Major building projects are underway across the region with Gary Neville recently unveiling controversial plans to redevelop a central part of Manchester including two new skyscrapers. If approved, the £200m investment will mean further regeneration for the city and could potentially create more than 1,000 jobs.
In a further boost to the Northern economic outlook, former chancellor George Osborne launched a new thinktank - the Northern Powerhouse Partnership on 16 September 2016. The independent not-for-profit group chaired by Mr Osborne will push the agenda of greater powers and investment to boost jobs and growth in the North. The business-led board includes Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group.
In our recent salary survey,
finance professionals in the North West region appear positive about job prospects with 86% feeling secure in their current role, 77% expecting a pay rise in the next year and headcount in 80% of finance teams having increased or remained the same in the last year.
So whilst Brexit may have caused some moments of uncertainty in the region the North continues to power on.