In 2016, PBA was appointed, by the Northern Gateway Partnership, together with Urbed and the Futures Company, to prepare a vision for the Northern Gateway Development Zone.
The Northern Gateway Partnership, (now known as the Constellation Partnership), is an ambitious and collaborative venture, with seven local authorities and two Local Enterprise Partnerships working with investors, communities and landowners to optimise the sustainable and inclusive growth potential of the area and maximise the impact of High Speed 2 (HS2) investment. The vision will be delivered by driving strategic economic growth, developing radical and innovative propositions to deliver this potential across a diverse area, with an ambition to deliver 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs by 2040.
Situated at the heart of the UK, the Northern Gateway Development Zone extends from Staffordshire in the West Midlands towards Greater Manchester in the north, fusing those areas of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine. The Northern Gateway region sits at the heart of the UK’s national transport network and is a key transport node with nationally significant networks crossing the region. PBA engaged with political leaders and officers of the Partners to understand the local context and plans for the future, and how this was likely to change over time as a result of the implementation of HS2, and other disruptive factors.
PBA then worked with the Partnership to develop six ‘place based ambitions’ covering: a spatial plan to deliver development in the right place in the right way, a programme of transport investment to enhance connectivity, a growth strategy to build on existing economic strengths, a skills development package to secure prosperity for local people, leadership and governance models to deliver change, and a communication strategy which provides an authentic and authoritative narrative to attract investors. Each ambition was underpinned by ‘investable propositions’ to provide the basis for future implementation, and these have provided the basis for the development of proposals for funding, investment and development in the area.