Creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is counterproductive for businesses in the north of England?

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How might the notion of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ be counterproductive for businesses in the north of England?


In September 2016, the British Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed her commitment to building a ‘Northern Powerhouse’, stating that the government will work with leaders and business leaders in Greater Manchester to deliver greater opportunities and economic prosperity (Halliday, 2016). Of course, this intention is a boost for businesses in the north of England, and alludes to the chance of expansion, growth and innovation in the area. However, it can be argued that the notion of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ may also be negative for businesses in Greater Manchester and other northern areas. In business, reputation can mean everything. It can be the difference between being rewarded a lucrative contract or losing out to a competitor. If positive, reputation can spur an organisation to success; conversely, if negative, reputation can be considered the unravelling factor in a business’s demise (Bracey, 2016). Generally, reputation can be generated in the mind of a consumer, be this business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), through the indications on that business from either its customers, or other influential sources (Berghoff and Federkeil, 2006). Thus, it can be implied that by stating the intention of creating a ‘northern powerhouse’, it is implied that businesses in the North of England are far behind those in the south. Although it is true that a north-south divide exists, there are still many successful, profitable and innovative businesses in the North-West, which may be disregarded in comparison to their Southern competitors if B2B customers interpreted that the region is inferior to the South. This may be a reason for cities such as Liverpool and Newcastle wishing to break away from the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ image, and preferring instead to be classed as “city regions” (Halliday, 2016). In conclusion, although there is no doubt that the investment of the government in the north of England will be advantageous, the reputation of existent businesses may suffer given the clear divide between North and South indicated by the indication to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse.’


Berghoff, S. and Federkeil, G., 2006, May. Reputation indicators and research performance. In Proceedings of 2nd Meeting of the International Rankings Expert Group (IREG): Methodology and Quality Standards of Rankings (pp. 18-20). Bracey, L. (2016) ‘The Importance of Business Reputation.’ Business in Focus Magazine. [Online] [Accessed on 9 October 2016] Halliday, J. (2016) ‘Theresa May affirms commitment to 'northern powerhouse.' The Guardian. [Online] 20th September [Accessed on 9 October 2016]

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