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Burnham Urges Government to Back the North in Tailored Levelling-Up

2 min


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After Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham spoke at the CIH 2021 event, Quadrant Smart highlights his pledge to work collaboratively with the central government if it will back his own version of the levelling-up agenda.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Housing 2021 conference in Manchester, Andy Burnham addressed the audience on issues such as tackling the housing crisis, building safety and reaching net zero.

He explained that the best way to achieve these three different objectives is through devolved power and local authorities as they are best placed to know their housing stock and communities.

Addressing the delegates, he explained: “The Conservatives are coming to this very building and I am going to draw a line under everything we’ve been through [during the pandemic] and say to the government that we can define levelling-up for you, we have got a plan for it.”

Manchester Must Be At The Heart Of Tailored Levelling-up

Placing Manchester at the heart of developments in housing, Burnham explained how Manchester could be used as a template for other big and small cities around the UK. This would only be possible through a tailored levelling-up deal from the central government with Manchester.

Potentially 89,000 jobs could either be saved or created from city-wide retrofitting. Regionally a retrofitting programme could generate 200,000 jobs

As part of Mr Burnham’s Manchester plan, he aims to scale up a huge retrofitting programme to upgrade thousands of social housing stock in the Greater Manchester area. There are many greater benefits of this, including new secure jobs, improved housing stocks and improved health for social housing residents.

Investing In The Next Generation Of Workers Is Essential

Labouring the point about young workers and closing the skills gap in the industry, the CIH delegates heard: “I have never been able to say to a younger generation that if they train in a particular skillset then there’s a chance they have a good job for life in a particular industry.

“Imagine saying that to young people? We have a net zero target of 2038 rather than 2050 – if we go faster, we will train a generation of people who can then go to places outside Manchester.”