Sheffield Chamber has supported the Northern Powerhouse and the extensive coverage it has received on its recent anniversary.
Director Richard Wright said: “So many of the points made today were absolutely on the button. The north can definitely become a real contributor to the country, especially in a post Brexit, but international, world. To do so will need us to throw aside the Treasury rules and invest properly and in a sustained way over several years. This is not about having our share of the pie – it’s about what is right for the long term success of the UK. We cannot have a strong UK without a strong north.
“What people also need to understand as well, though, is that if we don’t get things right as a region we could also get significant variation in investment within the north. It would be a real travesty if Government did make a long term investment in the north but Sheffield City Region lost out. So much of this is about working together and embracing devolution. We have a terrible track record on this and it has been noticed in so many areas.
“We have already suffered directly in programs like the Transforming Cities Fund where we would naturally have received a share of 50 per cent of the pot if we had done Devolution but have been left with a begging bowl to Government for the money to even write an application to competitively compete for some of what’s left.
“We still have the opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. We must get Devolution through and completed. We must align ourselves with the rest of the north on things like infrastructure investment which includes HS2. All of us, and that includes the politicians, need to align ourselves around the right things to do for the economy. We need to focus and be ambitious. Procrastinating any longer is not an option.”