Manchester is facing an uncertain future as it attempts another transformation, perhaps the greatest since Cottonopolis sprung to life in the roaring days of the Industrial revolution
One initiative has been launched from the office of the Mayor Andy Burnham and his team, in conjunction with The Growth Company and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.
Undeterred by the label, I signed up for one of its introductory webinars [June 5 2020]. I was pleased to discover that it was to be no more that an hour, a few minutes longer that the daily press conferences from the Government.
It turned out to be more interesting. For example, viewers were spared the PowerPoint slides. The presentations were mercifully brief, and the presence of a facilitator obviously helped.
‘Build Back better’
The strap line for the initiative is Build Back better. But what does better look like? Its
Key themes are daunting but familiar ones:
The mayor outlined existing and potential projects (the following from my notes)
Return to work: Adapting provisional changes. Returning to office v Working at home
Opportunities: Change Heath Care system. Integrated system for 2.8m people
Housing crisis:The high street will change. Implications?
New industries: Digital
Self Employment: challenges through existing and new support schemes
With Gvnt. Support for levelling-up initiatives: Retrofitting for construction opportunities to achieve zero-carbon housing
Questions from the distant audience (my notes again)
BAME help? 5% companies with BAME leaders. Working to encourage and improve.
Cycling importance? Work locations for more cycling walking components on work day. Newer modes like electric scooters.
Enhancing innovative actions? Recognising ‘front line staff initiatives’ taking place
Young people’s involvement? Already working towards a large-scale initiative including career progression.
Business start ups? Revive business apprenticeships and other entrepreneurial training
Next steps? To strengthen recovery strategy. To keep in touch with those becoming involved
A well-managed introduction to plans to support the challenge of regional reconstruction In the year of the virus. More posts as the project develops.