In response to the Manchester Industrial Strategy, engineering and professional services consultancy, WSP, Mark Hurley, Head of Planning comments:

‘The ambition set out in today’s Local Industrial Strategy for Greater Manchester could not be clearer - to place Greater Manchester at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and prove that you can reconcile economic prosperity and environmental sustainability at the regional level, by achieving carbon neutrality by 2038, while boosting productivity.

It recognises that places and infrastructure matter just as much as people and ideas in creating an environment where business and communities can flourish together.

Infrastructure

We look forward to contributing to the development of the Infrastructure Plan for the city-region, especially in terms of identifying and securing local funding sources, and unlocking the true potential of the region to be the global gateway to the north, through work such as on the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme. 

The strategy highlights the interdependence that exists between a prosperous Greater Manchester and a successful Northern Powerhouse.

In order to become a global leader in health and care innovation, the city-region must also lead in deploying future ready infrastructure, leveraging all the opportunities that innovations in clean growth, 5G rollout and new mobility provide.

It is welcome that the strategy espouses the notion of a ‘whole-systems approach’, and sees this as an important constituent of delivering on its aspiration to become a leading European digital city region.

Clean Growth

It views clean growth not as a challenge but an opportunity and commits to finding local ways of accelerating the implementation of energy efficiency measures, as well as championing new models of local renewable energy generation. The focus on outcomes that people can relate to is also welcome, and we look forward to contributing to the Clean Air Plan.

Connectivity and Mobility

Recognising the importance of continued improvements in connectivity and mobility, the city-region will also work to deliver growth cases for High Speed 2 and (via Transport for the North) Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Regeneration

WSP particularly welcomes that the city-region will take an integrated place-based approach to bringing forward strategic regeneration proposals in town centres and strategic sites, which integrate investment in land remediation, housing, transport and other infrastructure to create sustainable employment locations. The announcement that Mayoral Development Corporations will be used to drive strategic regeneration, is also great news.

However, for all these ambitions to be met, we agree that it will now be important for stable, substantial devolved funding to be secured now, as suggested in the National infrastructure Assessment.’

About WSP:

WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With more than 8200 talented people in the UK  (850 in Manchester) and approximately 48,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the re-development of London Bridge Station and Quarter, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, HS2, Transport for the North Strategic Development Corridor studies, One Blackfriars and the Shard.