fresh thinking for global britain


Policy North is an independent, cross party think tank with the mission to make North of England and the wider UK the best place in the world to live and do business by seizing the opportunities of a new global Britain. 

Policy North is made up of entrepreneurs and business leaders who are passionate about ensuring the North, and the wider UK, have a growing economy, a strong private sector, and are able to make the most of the opportunities that a new global Britain will have to offer. If we can deliver on growth and skills in the North, the whole of the UK will benefit. 

The heart of the Industrial Revolution, the North has a long history of driving national growth. It is home to over 15 million people and over 1 million private sector businesses. If the North were a country, it would have the same size economy as the whole of Belgium, accounting for 19% of total UK output.

The region produces 19% of UK goods exports, and is connected to the rest of the world through 7 international airports and 12 major ports. There are over 20 universities in the North, of which 4 are ranked in the top 100 universities globally.

Yet there is so much more untapped potential.

Policy North works to ensure that the North makes the most of new opportunities as part of a global Britain. 

"The gap between our capital city and our other cities and regions is one of the defining features of the UK economy. By working with businesses from across the country and the regions, in particular by promoting our regional cities, we can at last start to address the problem." - The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer


In June 2017 we published our "Global North" report calling for an update to the Government's Northern Powerhouse strategy to ensure the North of England is able to make the most of Brexit.

Download here



In its green paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’, the government outlined 10 key pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12 week consultation period, inviting contributions from industries, businesses, local groups and workers across the North. 

Jeremy Middleton CBE was commissioned to write the Policy North response to the consultation. This response focuses on one of those ten pillars:Developing Skills:

Download here


We also regularly publish contributions to our "Free Thinking" series from leading Northern Business leaders.


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The Team

Hon. President: David Harrison

David has over 30 years business experience. In 1997, he founded financial advice firm Positive Solutions which grew to be the largest in the country. David is managing partner of Newcastle-based financial services group True Potential LLP, one of the UK’s fastest growing financial technology firms.

Chairman: Stephen Purvis

Stephen is the founder and Chairman of SGP Technology Group, a successful group of technology and software businesses and is now an active technology investor and social justice campaigner. Stephen's early career was spent as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Navy before becoming a leading North East entrepreneur.

Editor: Alistair Balls CB

Alastair Balls CB, DL is a former senior economic adviser to the U.K. HM Treasury and Director, Northern Region, Departments of Environment and Transport, and is Chairman of the International Centre for Life. Alastair also a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear.

Communications Director: Peter Bould

Peter specialises in media and public affairs having worked as communications adviser to a Member of the European Parliament and special adviser to an Elected Mayor. Peter has managed two award-winning marketing and communications businesses and began his career as a broadcaster.

Policy Director: Callum Crozier

Callum studied Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and has previously advised Members of Parliament on policy issues affecting the North of England. Callum's key policy interests include education, economics and health care.

PA to the Board:

Catherine MacLeod -

Policy North is also supported by a number of regional Business Advisory Boards and a Political Advisory Committee.