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Team GB equals gold for the Northern Powerhouse


The North has hit the headlines in recent weeks as Team GB powered to the No.2 spot in the medal table at the Rio Olympics with many of our most successful Olympic athletes of all time hailing from the great North. It seems that the new government is keen to capitalise on this success and Theresa May has pledged investment to boost the Northern Powerhouse project to “help the great cities and towns of the North pool their strengths and take on the world.”

In an open letter featured in The Yorkshire Post, the prime minster stated that the United Kingdom has been much too dependent on growth in London and committed to building “a country that works for every one of us, in every part of the UK – not just the privileged few.”

May confirmed significant government investment in transport, innovation, sport and tourism setting out a clear commitment to “get behind Yorkshire’s innovators and entrepreneurs” and promising that the UK Government would underwrite science investments made by EU institutions ensuring key investments in Yorkshire are not disrupted. The prime minster stated that these investments would be maximised by developing a “proper industrial strategy” to back Yorkshire’s key sectors. 

In a separate article featured in the Birmingham Mail the prime minster set out plans for powering the “Midlands Engine” - another key part of the industrial strategy for the Northern Powerhouse. May highlighted the new business confidence in Birmingham “showing it can excel at a thousand different things, from high tech firms like Advanced Computer Software creating hundreds of jobs, to high-end manufacturing firms like Hydraforce opening their new factory over in Aston.” The Government’s key investment projects focus on transport with a new body, Midlands Connect, to drive forward better transport across the region and £60 million of innovation funding to back Midlands entrepreneurs.

And let’s not forget Manchester! Over 20 Olympic medals were won by athletes benefiting from the world class training facilities at the Manchester Velodrome and the GB Taekwondo Academy. The defence group BAE Systems – which has a strong presence across Lancashire – is UK Sport’s official research and innovation partner. This partnership is intended to enable British athletes to achieve sporting excellence through the application of cutting edge technology and engineering solutions.

A key part of the new vision for the Northern Powerhouse is greater local control and authority with a major devolution deal for Sheffield City Region agreed and new metropolitan mayors due to be elected in Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands next spring.

There is little doubt that UK Sport’s strategy of embracing innovation, marginal gains and significant investment in training has helped Team GB rise to the top. With “a proper strategy” evolving for the Northern Powerhouse the future is looking very bright for the North!

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