Time to join the conversation
In June Downtown in Business hosted events across the North West, in association with Deloitte, to gauge the feeling of business leaders about the Northern Powerhouse.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Lancashire, the least engaged of locations, was where the liveliest discussion was held. Led by the publisher of this fine magazine Richard Slater, businesses from across the county expressed their frustration and concern at the lack of collaboration and co-operation among our political masters that has cost and will continue to cost the area millions of pounds.
It is not the first time such sentiments have been articulated. The lack of progress on the establishment of a Combined Authority as a first step to unlocking the sort of investment Greater Manchester and Liverpool have received since signing devolution deals has been well-rehearsed.
So too have the calls for a figurehead to champion Lancashire comparable to an Andy Burnham character. The opposition to breaking the county up, as was recently suggested by some East Lancashire authorities, has also been consistently opposed by the business community.
Nonetheless, there is a difference to this discussion now. It is continuing and it needs to. As a new Prime Minister takes his place, there will be a big push for the Northern Powerhouse to get back on the government radar.
Lancashire must elbow its way into the conversation and ensure that it is seen as a central cog in the powerhouse engine.
Lancashire must elbow its way into the conversation and ensure that it is seen as a central cog in the powerhouse engine, rather than the peripheral shrinking violet it has become.
To make that happen, business needs to urgently join the conversation and be a powerful voice for the county at local and Westminster level. Downtown in Business is up for it. Lancashire Business View is too. Are you? If so, you know where we are.