The Northern Powerhouse was the focus of a combined Northern cities and regions discussion panel at the UK Government Pavilion at MIPIM International, the property and investment conference held annually in Cannes, France. Regional bodies representing metro and regional economies in the NP11, the government-backed ‘council of the North’, discussed the enhanced collaboration between Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the benefits for investors of the North coming together as never before. Many of the key themes in infrastructure focussing on unlocking the agglomeration benefits of bringing cities closer together, were debated at MIPIM including Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2, Digital Infrastructure and Devolution. The panel was chaired by Henri Murison, Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and included Roger Marsh, Chair of the NP11 group and Leeds City Region LEP; Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council; Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council; Sir Nigel Knowles, International Advisor, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership; Christine Gaskell CBE, Cheshire & Warrington LEP; and Asif Hamid MBE, Chair, Liverpool City Region LEP. Over 25,000 delegates attended the expo from March 12th-15th including potential investors, developers, property agents and policy makers from across the globe. Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP said: “Today was a fantastic opportunity to show just how much LEPs across the North are building partnerships for the good of the whole of the Northern region. “We will only realise our assets and opportunities and drive our productivity and competitiveness to its potential by securing the right level of investment in our infrastructure and that is why it is important to connect Liverpool City Region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail with the addition benefits of £15bn GVA, 24,000 new jobs and 11,000 homes for our growing economy. This is not just important for our region but for the north and the UK as a whole. We can achieve this by working together with a shared ambition, a clear evidence base and sharp focus – that is why it is so vital for us to work together across the North of England. Asif added: “We have a vital role to play in facilitating this collaboration and ensuring businesses are fully engaged in determining how best to drive the Northern economy forward.” Henri Murison, Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “I was delighted to chair this event which showcased the collaboration taking place between Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships to promote investment and economic opportunities in the Northern Powerhouse. I would like to pay tribute to the LEP leaders and local authority representatives for coming together for this showpiece event. “We in the North know of its phenomenal economic potential. The Northern Powerhouse’s major presence at MIPIM brought together leading voices to discuss a range of exciting projects and the transformative impact they can bring to our Northern regions. Working together we demonstrated loud and clear to the worldwide audience at MIPIM – the North of England is open for business. “It was also fantastic to discuss the shared ambition for a range of major infrastructure projects for the North of England. This includes HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail which will link our cities with greater frequency, faster journey times and enhanced capacity, stimulating economic growth and attracting the calibre of investors who attend MIPIM. “We also discussed the progress being made to deliver full fibre to the premise internet connection across major cities by 2025 and how deeper devolution will empower Northern regions to have more of a say over their future”.