PBA, now part of Stantec, in partnership with Newcastle University, has been instructed by the Royal Town Planning Institute to produce the high-profile ‘People and Place Spatial Framework’.
The Framework will form part of the ‘Great North Plan’ which seeks to advance the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ area – comprising the former Yorkshire and Humber, North West and North East regions – as a single interconnected area. Taken together, this area is home to over a quarter of England's population (15 million people); contains over a quarter of England's workforce (7.2 million people); achieves £304 billion annual Gross Value Added (if the North was a country, this would make it Europe's 9th largest economy ahead of Norway and Austria); contains five of the eight English 'core cities', and five of the 10 English National Parks; and contains many of the country's most affordable cities.
The Framework will provide a critical opportunity to explore and tackle key spatial issues affecting people and places across Northern England including matching new homes to job creation, addressing the productivity gap with the South East, regeneration initiatives, demographic change, and tailoring approaches to all spatial scales (rural, urban and coastal).
Informing the Framework will be comprehensive stakeholder involvement at a senior level with roundtable sessions undertaken across the North, to establish an informed vision based on a clear set of ambitions and ‘propositions’ for action. The work will also advance the case for further pan-Northern collaboration, seeking to influence structures and mechanisms to devolve more decision making and investment decisions to the North. Critically the outcome of the work is for the identified ambitions and propositions to be ‘owned’ and taken forward by relevant partners.