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The North looks to the future

November 28, 2014Article by Ray Withers

Property Frontiers has been presenting investment opportunities in the North of England for many years now and it’s an area that I feel passionate about developing. With a rich industrial history and its modern business prowess, the North is a thriving part of the UK, jam packed with lively cities, booming businesses and a huge class of eager young professionals.

Big plans

I was therefore excited to read the recently published results of the IPPR North Great North Plan competition to see what the future might have in store for this fantastic area. The report takes a transformational approach, having called on local people to put forward their proposals for creating a bright new future for the North.

While HS3 – a high-speed train line between Leeds and Manchester – has already been put forward, the One North proposal took the concept much further, creating a unified approach between Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester. Naturally, as Property Frontiers has buy-to-let investment properties in a range of city hotspots in northern England, I was pleased to see that One North won the Great North Plan competition.

The One North proposal addresses the next 15 years of infrastructure needs across the five cities through an interconnected transportation structure costing some £15 billion. It covers travel by road, rail, sea and air in such detail that the plan was awarded the George Stephenson Prize for industry professionals.

A boost for business

For those of us working in the North, the One North plan is excellent news. While each city already has its own thriving business environment, providing enhanced links between the five of them will serve to stimulate the commercial sector and attract even greater numbers of bright young things to the North in order to pursue careers.

From Property Frontiers’ perspective, this means more demand for rental accommodation, as the workers seek out high spec properties in leading city centre locations. At present we have buy-to-let investment properties in Liverpool while Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds are all on my radar as possible additional locations.

With the cost of living so much cheaper in the North than in the South East, many corporations choose to base their key departments here rather than in London. Even leading government departments such as HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions have chosen the North over and above what the capital has to offer.

It is fantastic to see that the North has its sights set so firmly on the future. It gives me confidence that the area’s huge potential will be explored and realised to the full over the coming years and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

To find out more about leading UK buy-to-let investment opportunities, contact Property Frontiers or call +44 1865 202 700.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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