The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is a phrase that we are increasingly hearing in business discussions. But what does this actually mean, and how do we play a part in this?
The government’s own website has this to say:
“The Northern Powerhouse is our ambition to bring together the great cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England and Wales to become a powerhouse for our economy. We will achieve this with modern transport links, a revolutionary new style of governance and increased investment.”
Published in their 2016 Autumn statement, the Northern Powerhouse strategy explains how the government will work with local stakeholders to address key barriers to productivity in the region, investing in transport infrastructure to improve connections between and within the North’s towns, cities and counties; working with local areas to raise education and skills levels across the North; ensure the North is an excellent place to start and grow a business; and ensure the Northern Powerhouse is recognised worldwide as an excellent opportunity for trade and investment.
But why is this important? And what does it mean to us?
At Bright Horizons (as with most of our clients) our outlook is global; we operate in a global marketplace and serve clients with multiple locations around the world. We have several different UK headquarters – Rushden in Northamptonshire, Chesham in Buckinghamshire, Wilmslow near Manchester in addition to a London office at Great Portland Street. We operate 300+ nurseries around the country and each nursery is an individual family with its own unique features – we cherish our local communities and embrace their cultures. High-quality childcare is a crucial enabler for business to succeed – and our nurseries deliver that in many Northern Powerhouse cities such as Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and even further North – we have a strong presence in Aberdeen with both client and community nurseries.
Bright Horizons is also part of Creating Inclusive Cultures – a forum for businesses who want to create thriving workplaces for all, working together and learning from each other. The forums focus on key issues, city by city, ensuring that regional insights and knowledge are part of the solution. The forums are thriving in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
From a business continuity viewpoint, moving towards a less London-centric model makes sense. As Brexit continues to bring uncertainty to the City, the Northern Powerhouse offers an alternative business landscape. Bright Horizons delivers high-quality childcare around the country, and we are delighted to support our clients and families wherever and whenever they need us with our UK-wide network of nurseries and back-up care providers.
Joanna Thubron, Corporate Marketing Manager, Bright Horizons