The north of England has rarely faced such threat and opportunity. Brexit looms; budgets in essential NHS and council services are at breaking point. The world’s major, long-term challenges – globalisation, climate change, AI, automation and an ageing population – continue to test the North’s energy and innovation.
There are opportunities: new infrastructure – long promised – could soon be brought forward; industrial strategy could support the North’s world-leading frontier industries to innovate and advance; new and established mayors can consolidate city-region leadership across the North. These opportunities need to be taken but many more need to be created in the years ahead.
This is IPPR North’s fifth annual State of the North report. As the Northern Powerhouse takes on new life but faces unprecedented challenges, it sets out five priorities for northern leaders to take this important agenda into a new phase.