In this interim report, the Northern Economic Futures Commission (NEFC) makes the case for a much clearer focus on the North in economic policymaking. It argues that the longstanding structural challenges facing the North of England are entrenched by systemic factors that inhibit its long-term growth potential, and contends that it is not in the long-term interests of the UK as a whole for this lack of focus to persist.

NEFC chair Geoff Muirhead says:

'Our case is neither anti-south, anti-Scotland, nor a simplistic plea for fairness. On the contrary, the rationale for a clearer northern focus is an economic and not a social one, a national and not a parochial one.'

The NEFC's interim report lays out five propositions about the northern economy:

  1. Northern prosperity is national prosperity
  2. The North of England holds huge potential for growth
  3. There are structural challenges facing the North
  4. The North must be seen as an interconnected metro-region
  5. Northern economic development needs bolder northern leadership and autonomy

And proposes five pillars for growth, which also frame the commission's next areas of investigation and the recommendations to appear in its final report:

  1. Innovation and business growth
  2. Human capital
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Investment
  5. Institutions