Leading the way? The relationship between 'Devo-Manc', Combined Authorities and the Northern Powerhouse

Blakeley, Georgina and Evans, B.J. (2017). Leading the way? The relationship between 'Devo-Manc', Combined Authorities and the Northern Powerhouse. In: Berry, Craig and Giovannini, Arianna eds. Developing England’s North: The Political Economy of the Northern Powerhouse. Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy (SPERIRP). London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 199–216.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62560-7_8


The proposal for a Northern Powerhouse and the development of combined authorities are inextricably connected. In both cases, Manchester plays a pivotal role which is not challenged by the May Government’s focus on national rather than simply Northern regeneration. Manchester’s leadership of the combined authorities initiative is based on its institutional maturity and its central role in the promotion of the Independent Economic Review to develop an economic strategy for the Northern Powerhouse. There is evidence that in the existing governance vacuum of the Northern Powerhouse, the leadership of the GMCA will provide a fulcrum, although there remains uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of both combined authorities and the Northern Powerhouse, until both are tested by the decisions to be taken about Northern transport interconnectivity and the impact of the metro-mayoral elections.

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