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Is Warrington the Northern Powerhouse capital?

Warrington could be the real heart of the Northern Powerhouse, according to a new think tank report.

The Institute for Public Policy Research's found the town's the most productive area in the North of England - and has an employment rate well above the national average.

But it's not all good news - as the 'State of the North' report also highlights the stark inequalities across the region that will have to be overcome to put the North on the same economic footing as the South.

Steve Park from business partnership Warrington and Co says the report's proof the Government needs to look at more than just the North's key cities if the Northern Powerhouse project is to live up to it's promise:

"I think Warrington does get some recognition, but it's no surprise that the core cities, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, they are the ones that get most of the recognition. But Warrington does stand out.

"Clearly location is important - the motorway network, the West Coast Mainline. But Warrington's got really good quality schools, it's got lots of easily accessible green space, and it's a really pro-business town.

"We can only grow by working together in partnership on things like strategic infrastructure and skills. It's important that the North works together to get that economic prosperity driven in the same way that's happened in the South-East."

Ed Cox, director at IPPR North, said:

“If the Northern Powerhouse is to drive national prosperity, these figures show the challenges it must overcome to become a reality. We will never become a powerhouse economy when our children and young people have such a poor start in life. It will take a generation of investment: not only in new railways and motorways, but in the ‘human capital’ of the North – in education and training, starting with the youngest.

“If the Northern Powerhouse is to be successful, economic powers must be devolved to all corners of the North to allow businesses and policymakers to develop an economy that supports more productive, resilient and sustainable growth: jobs that pay well, prosperity that is shared, and opportunities for all.”

 

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