The State of the North
If we want the North to prosper in a post-Brexit world, we should give Northerns a voice at the negotiating table so they can help shape a settlement that works for them.
Now more than ever, it is essential the North has a strong voice both at the Brexit negotiation table and in the wider politics of the region to ensure growth continues.
IPPR North is one of the leading voices on the Northern Powerhouse debate. The significance of this should not be underestimated at a time when many thought the Northern Powerhouse agenda would slowly disappear. We have been instrumental in keeping it on the agenda and ensuring that business voices continue to give it a momentum that May's administration have been unable to ignore.
Politicians hold our research in high regard, often referring to our analysis:
- we were the most cited organisation in a House of Commons briefing paper on the Northern Powerhouse;
- the House of Lords held a special session to debate our State of the North report in January 2017; and
- our Paying for Progress report was trailed by leading opposition politicians, to name but a few cases.
Even more significant, is that our work is not just being cited but also having an impact. David Davies MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union agreed to invite Metro Mayors to discuss northern Brexit after discussing our State of the North report with IPPR North Director Ed Cox; whilst our Health Innovation report directly led to the sponsor being invited to join the government’s industrial strategy committee.
And this impact isn’t restricted to politicians. We’re working with more stakeholders and influencing wider audiences. For instance, we’re leading the way on gender equality issues related to the Northern Powerhouse. We partnered with Northern Power Women to host the first ever gender balanced Northern Powerhouse conference in December 2016 (two-thirds of the speakers and audience were women) making sure women’s voices are heard in the debate. We also influenced the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Greater Manchester and the northern pharmaceutical sector.
Along the way we’re making sure the public know what is being debated, securing good media coverage for all our reports. State of the North featured in The Mirror, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Express, Good Morning Britain, The I Paper, Yorkshire Post plus various regional broadcast and print. Similarly, Paying for Progress was covered in The Mirror, The Times, The Guardian and the front page of the Yorkshire Post. All this is really important in making sure our research and its impact reaches beyond the political sphere and engages the public in what is an important debate.