Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News Release


JLL comments on unveiling of long-term travel strategy to connect the north of England

Manchester, 23 March 2015 – On Friday 20 March 2015, plans were unveiled to revolutionise travel in the North of England by the Chancellor, the Deputy Prime Minister, the transport secretary and northern city leaders. Entitled 'The Northern Powerhouse: One Agenda, One Economy, One North' the report sets out a long-term strategy to connect the north of England, create a single economy and allow northern towns and cities to pool strengths.

Commenting on its publication David Lathwood, head of JLL in the North West, said: "This report includes a range of good ideas, however at this stage all we've been given is ideas. We now need to move quickly past the political rhetoric and see the detail behind how these plans will be rolled out.

"The Northern Powerhouse is a legitimate prospect – many UK and overseas property investors are already turning their attention away from saturated markets in London and the South East towards Manchester. Greater connectivity between northern cities has the potential to not only increase this but to spread to benefits across Merseyside and Yorkshire. 

"Our research shows that commercial real estate investment transactions across Liverpool, Manchester and West Yorkshire totalled £2.23 billion last year. While that's dwarfed by the £28 billion experienced in London, it represents a 66 per cent year-on-year increase, compared with no growth in the capital

"However, accelerating this significant potential for growth in the region can only be achieved by rebalancing infrastructure spending to give the North the ability to punch its weight.

"We need to see a political commitment from whoever makes up the next government, as well as an inclusion in the next spending review, and there will need to be swift action to ensure that this changes the economic equilibrium in the way the chancellor has predicted.

"The report's suggestion that the HS2 link to the North could be accelerated is a good start. In Manchester this has the potential to generate significant investment for the city and faster delivery of this will also unlock investment potential stemming from the regeneration of the Piccadilly area through the Manchester Mayfield scheme earlier than previously expected.

"Given the high sums of money involved in the plans to link up Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, there will be no shortage of sceptics as to the timeframe and the logistics of how this plan will be delivered. This is why we now need to see action, not just the waves of political rhetoric and ideas that we've been given thus far."