Can levelling up raise productivity in the Northern Powerhouse?

In this episode, host Professor Bart van Ark Bart talks to Lord Jim O’Neill, Dame Nancy Rothwell and Professor Philip McCann about raising productivity in the Northern Powerhouse, a powerful concept introduced more than five years ago with the aim to rebuild a competitive economy in northern England. Our guests have been there from the start and discuss what it’s delivered so far, its challenges, future directions and how it contributes to the government’s levelling-up agenda.

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About our guests

Lord Jim O’Neill is a vice chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. He is an economist, former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and former Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs. He is Chair of Chatham House and is a trustee of education charity SHINE.

Dame Nancy Rothwell is President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester. She is on the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership in a personal capacity, Chair of the Russell Group, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, Chair of the Oxford Road Corridor Board, and a member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Board. Until April 2021, she was the Co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and was also a member of the recently disbanded Industrial Strategy Council.

Professor Philip McCann is Chair in Urban and Regional Economics at Sheffield University Management School. He specialises in spatial economics and economic geography and is one of the UK’s most highly cited social scientists. He has also been a Special Adviser to two European Commissioners, an advisor to the European Commission, the OECD, the European Investment Bank, as well as government ministries and research institutes in several countries. He is also the Productivity Forum lead for Yorkshire, Humberside & North East England.

Productivity Puzzles is sponsored by Capita and brought to you by The Productivity Institute.