IPPR North seeks infrastructure ideas

8 Aug 14

A think-tank has launched a competition for people aged under 25 to think up infrastructure projects that would benefit northern England.

The Institute for Public Policy Research North said it had taken the step after calculating that infrastructure spending was £5,426 per head in London but only £223 in the North East.

The North West though was in second place with spending of £1,248 per head, more then double the South East’s £502.

This imbalance was in part due to London having high-value projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink.

The Great North Plan competition offers a £1,000 prize for the best proposed infrastructure project that could be built by 2050 devised by someone aged under 25.

A separate George Stephenson prize for infrastructure projects that could be completed by 2030 is open to professionals.

IPPR North director Ed Cox said: ‘It is widely recognised that the north of England loses out as government spending on infrastructure is continuously skewed towards London.’

He welcomed the £15bn One North transport infrastructure plan, launched this week by the region’s local authorities, but said ‘more must be done in order to tackle imbalanced investment…the north must come up with a set of projects which show ambition’.

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