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2017-03-07

Steve Gillingham - Director of the North at Mace

Written by Steve Gillingham

Manchester: thriving in uncertainty

The Northern construction sector is predicted to thrive in 2017, but for Greater Manchester, the headlines this year will also be about the era of change that is coming our way, and the opportunities that will come from it.

Leadership upheaval is the new norm, and in Greater Manchester we have it on our own doorstep. With the first elected mayor due to start in May, Eamonn Boylan named as the CEO of the GMCA, and new Chief Executives for Manchester and Stockport, our leadership is currently in a state of flux. Add to that the fact that devolved funding is gaining momentum, and executive powers have been granted to the new Transport for the North, and to say that this looks set to be a year of great transition would be putting it very mildly indeed.

Of course all of this progress is really the culmination of years of hard work to develop a regionally devolved structure, led by the departing Chief Executive of Manchester, Sir Howard Bernstein and his political companion, Sir Richard Leese.

It’s impossible to write about the future of the North without mentioning the Northern Powerhouse. Having created the first comprehensive plan by the North, for the North, it is the brand under which the leadership will thrive. To me the catalyst is Manchester and this city should take its rightful place as a city that knows how to capitalise on the opportunities available to it, and a key one is the partnership with other great northern cities that comprise the Northern Powerhouse.

MIPIM is all about opportunity, where better for the private and public sector to coalesce around this fantastic brand, and ultimately show the world that we are open for business?