The People’s Powerhouse #ThisIsTheNorth


The People’s Powerhouse is a movement which exists to shape the debate around the Northern Powerhouse and Northern devolution debate, to ensure that people and communities are at the heart of the Powerhouse plans, not the periphery. We want to include the thoughts and opinions, as well as knowledge and expertise from all sectors of society, with a focus on how people are the key to meaningful development. In 2018 we launched a People’s Powerhouse Charter – our Charter sets out the foundations of our movement to transform the fortunes of the North and its people.


The Charter’s six principles are:

  • A louder voice – Where people’s voices are heard and are part of public policy decision making in a meaningful way. This means new ways for people to be involved and to discuss the things that matter the most to them.
  • Genuine diversity and inclusion – There are some voices in the North that are often not heard, for example, those of younger people, people with disabilities and those experiencing poverty. We think there is value in a greater diversity of voices from across the North.
  • Respect for identity – The North has rich variety of places and identities and all of those need to be respected and considered in decisions made about the North.
  • Meaningful change – Over decades there has been a public policy failure to realise the true potential of the North and particularly its people. We will work to change this.
  • Real fairness – The North has been unfairly treated across a number of policy areas and many people feel let down and left out of decision making. This needs to be addressed across the North and nationally.
  • Most trust – There is lack of trust between the people and power. Organisations in positions of power need to do more to forge relationships with the people of the North in order to build lasting trust for the future.

Influential people from across civic and public society signed up to the principles in our Charter and you can too – Sign our Charter

We believe that by sharing platforms with each other, we will better understand the issues that affect us all and find solutions that work for more people. We are holding our third annual Convention in Sunderland on the 19 November. We have a jam-packed programme all designed to bring more and different voices into the big conversations about the future of the North. We will be joined by our host Dr Kate Fox – stand up poet and writer. With 10 workshops on a variety of topical issues such as basic income and people’s banks there is lots of choice for how you spend your morning. We then have the option six expert classes where we will hear from Ed Cox, RSA, Arianna Giovannini, IPPR North, Neil McInroy CLES, Nazir Afzal, Extinction Rebellion and Power to Change about topics such as community wealth building and citizens assemblies. Our main plenary session in the afternoon will focus growing the voice of the people by outlining the priorities and steps to make the North a place where all people and communities can thrive. Join us in shaping this conversation we need to hear your voice.

See here for more information and to book your place using the code ERSA to gain a 50% discount on your tickets.