About the North of England
The North of England is covered by the UK government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ programme, which is supporting economic growth in the region.
The North of England is home to 15.2 million people, and hosts over one million businesses in the region, making it easy for investors to access a wide supply chain and a strong consumer base.
5 of the UK’s main cities are located here: Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool.
The region includes more than 2,500 advanced engineering companies, 50% of UK nuclear projects, 30% of all the UK’s renewable energy, and 25% of Europe’s electric car production.
Opportunities and incentives
The UK government has designated enterprise zones across the Northern Powerhouse, offering additional commercial tax and planning flexibilities. These enterprise zones have attracted £1.3m of private sector investment.
The North provides strong incentives to investors including:
- a 55 million GBP investment fund offering loans to capital projects
- grants for eligible small businesses worth up to 150,000 GBP
- areas offering 100% tax relief for investments in plant and machinery and up to 100% discount on business taxes (Invest North East England 2017)
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund can provide loans and equity finance worth between 25,000 GBP and 2 million GBP to support UK-based businesses.
Employment costs are lower than elsewhere in Northern Europe and the median wages are lower than elsewhere in England. Industrial land values and rental costs are very competitive in the Northern Powerhouse. Industrial rental values stand at 54 GBP/m2, which reflects the availability of land and investor choice options.
Manchester offers the lowest business costs among Europe’s ten major cities and the 3rd most competitive tax rates in the world in a ranking of major global cities. (KPMG Competitive Alternatives/KPMG Focus on Tax 2016.)
Skills and education
The North of England is home to cutting edge science and innovation, including the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research where graphene was invented.
Boeing has announced its intention to invest £20 million in Sheffield, which is home to the Advanced Manufacturing Centre. McLaren is also investing £50 million in a new site.
Investors in the North of England benefit from a strong skills base. This includes graduates from the University of Liverpool - first in the UK for computer sciences and informatics research in 2014. Universities including Manchester, Durham and Newcastle are part of the prestigious Russell Group - 24 UK universities that produce world-class research.
(Invest North East England 2017)
The North offers inter-city connections as well as a range of options to connect globally:
- 7 internationally connected airports, including Manchester Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Newcastle International Airport and Doncaster Sheffield Airport
- 12 major foreign trading ports, including the largest ports complex in the UK, based in the Humber region
- efficient road and rail links, with some journey times within 2 hours - along with the upcoming high speed rail network (HS2)
(Invest North East England 2017)
There are a number of regeneration projects in the Northern Powerhouse. If you’re looking to invest in infrastructure or find facilities for your business, this could be the ideal location for you. Find out more about opportunities in the Northern Powerhouse.