Yesterday, Wednesday 12 February, Lord Deighton KBE, former Olympic organising committee chief executive and now Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, spoke at Manchester Business School as part of the Centre for Infrastructure Development’s Thought Leaders in Infrastructure series.
He talked about how Manchester has always been a ‘city of firsts’ for technology and transport, as well as how government is encouraging investment and prioritising the delivery of infrastructure.
He said: “Manchester has been a ‘city of firsts’ for centuries, always ahead of the curve in realising the advantages of new technology and infrastructure.”
“The Liverpool and Manchester Railway pioneered the development of modern transport and today we are on the verge of another major transformation in our infrastructure. Once again Manchester will be at its heart with the Northern Hub rail upgrade which could create £4 billion for the North, Airport City attracting investment of £800 million and of course High Speed Two which will revolutionise the country’s economic geography.”
“Great ideas and great businesses should not be confined to one city. For decades now, long term prosperity and development in the UK has been hampered by short term thinking. So it is vital that we get our infrastructure plans right. The Government’s National Infrastructure Plan is setting out our priorities and giving investors security that we are serious about backing infrastructure investment. There is over £7 billion of public and private planned investment in the North West according to the Government’s latest infrastructure pipeline.
“You have to have a plan and it is great to see that once more Manchester is leading the way – they have published their own pipeline of upcoming projects in the region and you only have to look at Airport City to see that investors across the world are taking note of this proactive approach. Manchester’s plan for HS2 is also one of the most advanced in the country.
“Investing in our infrastructure unlocks huge potential for growth, connecting people, getting new ideas to market, creating jobs, and presenting us with opportunities that must be taken with both hands.”