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  • Property-a-holics

    Northern Powerhouse - property perspective

    George Osborne is to announce plans to transform the North of England into an economic "powerhouse" with an investment of up to £15 billion.

    Mr Osborne will unveil plans for new "money, infrastructure and science" in the north which will form the "centrepiece" of his Autumn Statement later this year.

    In a speech in Manchester at the unveiling of a report by local authorities, Mr Osborne will say:

    "I give you this personal commitment. Work with me over the coming months and together we will make a reality of the plan I've set out for the Northern powerhouse. "I'm ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science. And real civic power too.

    "Today I'm setting out the northern powerhouse, so we can deliver a real improvement in the long term economic performance of the north of England. "This will be the centrepiece of my Autumn Statement – and part of our long-term economic plan for the country."

    Source/full story

    This has got to be great news for property investors! Investment, Communication, and Infrastructure are key drivers of capital growth and tenant demand.

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    I read this today; at first sight I thought “great” the North could become a single job market like London.

    Then I thought a bit more, however good the transport links are between the cities, someone still has to get the bus/train into their local city, then take the inter city transport, before getting out to the employment. A lot of the new employment round Manchester is only easy to access by car, so being able to get from Leads to the centre of Manchester does not make it easy for someone living in Leads to take the job in Manchester.

    It is even a pain just getting to employment on the other side of Manchester, so unless all employment moves to city centres like it is tending to in London I don’t foresee a single jobs market.

    (When I was working as an independent IT consultant, I looked at moving to London, it soon become clear that it was only worthwhile if I lived in the centre of London, so giving easy access to all of the London market.)

    So these new transport links may increase demand for city living in the cities they link up, and transformed job market but only for people that live within walking distance of their cities main train station.
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    Can an economic "powerhouse" be truly engineered?

    I recently met with Brighton council who work very hard to bring high tech companies to the city.

    Recently more IT companies are coming to the city, but NOT because of the facilities that were design or "engineered" by the council. In reality, the large IT firms have been attracted to the hub that is growing naturally in the Lanes areas. The quirky mishmash of shops and cafes has spawned a culture in Brighton which has even become home to Walk Disney.

    Will big business always be attracted to London?
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    (05-08-2014 12:52 PM)propertyinvestmentbuzz Wrote:  Will big business always be attracted to London?

    Most jobs are not with “big business” they are with small companies.

    Take software houses for example; a company needs to have a pool of skilled staff that they can employ quickly when they are able to expand.

    An employee will not risk working for a small fast expanding company unless they know that they can get another job quickly if the company goes under.

    If a company ties to move from its current cluster, then it will lose a lot of its employees, this happened often when companies were taken over in Cambridge and the new owner assumed that they could just relocate the workforce to its cheaper corporate head office.

    Therefore companies that need the same skill set tend to cluster together.

    Once a cluster starts to form, easy access to flexible office space on flexible leases (e.g. St John’s Invention Centre) can be a big factor in how quickly a cluster grows.

    So will these new transport links allow Manchester, Leads, Liverpool etc to behave like a single cluster?
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    This issue was referred to in Evan Davis's excellent Mind the Gap programmes a few months ago. Ian has pretty much summarised it above.

    The number of people that live along the Leeds - Bradford - Manchester - Liverpool corridor is up there with the numbers of people who live in and around London. However, for it to be able to act as a single hub or enterprise zone, it has to be quick and easy to move within it. In other words, there would have to be a modern, quick and reliable transport network that links Leeds to Liverpool and everything in between. If we assume those 4 main cities were the hubs, there would also have to be suitable spokes from each of the centres to ensure movement within each individual city network is equally quick and easy.

    One word of warning though, Evan Davis says that it's relatively easy to enhance and promote further growth in an existing cluster, but it's very difficult (perhaps impossible) to manufacture a cluster where one doesn't already exist.

    It would be a big financial commitment to make it happen, but I would suggest that the bones of it are already in place - the nucleus of the cluster is already there. It might take a generation, but I think it's the one region in the UK that form an alternative to London and the SE.
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    (05-08-2014 06:20 PM)Martin McGrath Wrote:  One word of warning though, Evan Davis says that it's relatively easy to enhance and promote further growth in an existing cluster, but it's very difficult (perhaps impossible) to manufacture a cluster where one doesn't already exist.

    It would be a big financial commitment to make it happen, but I would suggest that the bones of it are already in place - the nucleus of the cluster is already there. It might take a generation, but I think it's the one region in the UK that form an alternative to London and the SE.

    There is already an IT cluster in Manchester along with a TV cluster in Salford so I think it can be done in a lot less than a generation. (There will also be lots of other clusters that I don’t know about.)

    Clusters can spread quickly, just look at how computer has spread from Cambridge to East London in the last year or two.
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    Sounds Awesome!

    Relocate Houses of Parliament to Bolton I say!

    Ra ra!

    Bump if you agree!
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    (05-08-2014 11:19 AM)Vanessa Warwick Wrote:  This has got to be great news for property investors!


    I have short medium and long term plans
    My long term plans stretch to 2050
    Thats when I plan to die

    As a politician George Osborne only really engages in short term plans. 5 years maximum. His overriding goal at the moment is to get reelected in May 2015.
    Prepare for boom and bust in what he says.
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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Ah yes, I saw the Evan Davis's Mind the Gap programme and just shows how clusters can gain almost unstoppable momentum when left to their own devices (ie. without council interference).

    True though, perhaps things will change over a generation. It's easy to think in terms of 10/20 years but things move over 40/50 years I guess.
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    Quite Nonsense; Government does not create "powerhouse" it can destroy them or accelerate their growth.

    You are reliant on the Northern People; whom are already a powerhouse - its in Bradfordian's blood. A report from Duport.co.uk shows Bradford is also out-performing cities such as Leeds and Sheffield in terms of new company registrations.

    Not that I would turn down £15 billion boost to the region.
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