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In the News

Atom Valley: Burnham’s vision for regenerating Greater Manchester

Graham Watson

10th January 2023

Regional inequality, levelling up, the Northern Powerhouse - call it what you will, but the last 12 years plus of Conservative government have produced lots of slogans but little progress. And I've been vocal in saying that it was always self-evidently going to be thus...

However, regional mayor, Andy Burnham, is taking matters into his own hands and has launched a project to create a hi-tech hub called Atom Valley from Wigan in the West, to Rochdale in the North and Oldham in the East. But will it overcome the problem of low productivity in the region?

According to the article:

"Manchester is not doing well as a whole. You can’t have booming businesses downtown and people in the northern boroughs left high and dry. Greater Manchester should be driving the economy of the whole north-west.”

Read this Guardian article

Atom Valley is a public-private partnership with plans to build an advanced manufacturing hub and create 20,000 jobs across three separate sites in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham.

In the context of the UK economy, "levelling up" refers to the government's goal of reducing economic disparities between regions within the country. It often involves investing in infrastructure and other initiatives in areas that have historically lagged behind in terms of economic development, in order to bring them up to the same level as more prosperous regions. This can include building new roads, schools, and hospitals, as well as providing training and other resources to help people in these areas improve their skills and find good jobs. The goal is to create a more balanced and prosperous economy for all parts of the UK.

The Northern Powerhouse is a term used to describe the economic development of the North of England. It was a policy initiative launched by the UK government in 2014 with the goal of boosting economic growth in the region by investing in infrastructure, skills, and innovation. The idea behind the Northern Powerhouse is to create a more balanced and prosperous economy by building on the strengths of northern cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds, and encouraging more businesses and investment to the region. The initiative aims to create a single, interconnected economy in the North, rather than a collection of individual cities competing with each other. The Northern Powerhouse includes a range of measures such as improving transport links between northern cities, investing in science and technology, and providing support to businesses to help them grow and create jobs.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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