Business leaders are urging the Government to rethink the Northern Powerhouse initiative and instead focus on the Midlands region.

The proposed HS2 rail link will make travel between the north of England and London much faster and should give a boost to the whole UK economy.

Some critics believe the plan could backfire and lead to more commuters choosing to work in London rather than in the north.

And cities such as Manchester and Liverpool are locked in a battle to win government funding as the site of the proposed powerhouse.

Now hundreds of business leaders in the Midlands have entered the debate urging George Osborne and David Cameron to consider siteing the proposed hub at a location equidistant to the north and the capital.Expo-web-banner-5

They point out that the HS2 proposals include plans for a stop at Toton in Nottinghamshire, which many believe could be developed into an investment zone for business.

The business community has invited the media to debate the proposals at the East Midlands Expo business event this week in Nottingham  (11th November).

They claim the East Midlands has a clear advantage over its northern rivals and would be able to take the heat out of the south east quickly.

They cite the regions counties as being able to offer diversity and high investment potential and an improvement to its road and rail network could put the region on the map.Seminar-Photo-2-300x200

Invest East Midlands chairman Martin Freeman said: “If the press headlines for George Osborne’s initiative ‘The Northern Power House’ has already delivered a new high profile brand for the North of England – expect disappointment, as yet no one is too sure just what it means.

“Indeed the North of England has spent the last 30 year’s being de-industrialised and the Redcar Steel Works closure is the latest example of just that.

“Productivity at least the lack of it is at the root of the problem and in a global market that is not going to be solved overnight.

“Forget the brand ‘Powerhouse’ it’s the more diverse route taken by the North of England City Regions that has delivered economic development and that is where the East Midlands has an advantage.William-Saunders-300x200

“It is a City Region with a powerful heart thanks to the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire/Leicestershire  triangle and amazing diversity and investment potential thanks to Northamptonshire/ Lincolnshire with an unique oasis we call Rutland.

“Unlike the North, the East Midlands can do something quickly to enhance economic development and take full advantage of an overheated South East – ‘Infrastructure’.

“By maximising the opportunities from the ambitious HS2, dealing with the East to West Midlands road links, in particular for freight and maybe even consider complete new road and rail infrastructure direct from Immingham, Grimsby and Boston to the West Midlands through both East and West Midlands Airports and Toton.

“An initiative to deliver a strategic partnership ‘Connect Midlands’ looks likely to be approved and funded as a formal sub national transport body, details of which will be discussed by Andrew Pritchard Director of Policy & Infrastructure, for East Midlands Councils at the East Midlands Expo Seminar at the East Midlands Conference Centre Nottingham on Wednesday 11th November.”

Entry to the seminar, which is part of an exciting event agenda, exhibition & business show is completely free of charge.

Pre-registration is essential to ensure a seat at this lively debate and details are on the www.eastmidlandsexpo.co.uk website.