Devolution of powers - step in the right direction, but access to finance is critical
The need to re-balance the UK economy away from the hot house of London is a much talked about policy goal.
Devolution of powers over housing, transport, planning and policing is a step in the right direction. But access to finance is also critical. Where devolution works well in other countries – the USA, Germany and Spain, it is supported by a strong regional banking sector.
The Government should also consider creating a regional bank for Manchester and other city hubs at the same time as supporting alternative community finance providers to grow, innovate and expand. Manchester already benefits from a number of alternative finance providers, such as Enterprise Ventures, a community development finance institution, which has invested over £100 million into small businesses in the last four years. Political devolution needs to be matched by economic devolution to spread the benefits of economic growth while ensuring that growth is more sustainable.
Jennifer Tankard is Director of the Community Investment Coalition Follow us @BankingBetter.