60 Seconds: Snakes and Ladders


60 Seconds: Snakes and Ladders


I like Twitter. I don’t Tweet much (far too dangerous) but I do like to have a glance over what others put out there.

Most of the time it’s for a laugh – I’m still working on the assumption that Donald Trump is playing a big practical joke on us all and his button is certainly bigger than mine.

But sometimes, you happen upon something which is genuinely thought provoking, as well as a bit of a giggle.

One such Tweet was from Wall Street Journal columnist, Mike Bird. Whilst fiddling with NASA’s population estimator tool Mike found that half the population of the UK live in an area running from London, through Birmingham and winding up in Manchester.

The serpent-like shape has been dubbed the “English Powersnake”.

Someone else also pointed out that this ribbon of large cities and towns roughly correlates to the ancient Watling Road. Those Romans knew what they were doing.

The English Powersnake could take its place alongside the Northern Powerhouse, the Golden Triangle, the Midlands Engine and the London-Stansted-Cambridge-Oxford Corridor. There was also recently the suggestion of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, helping to create a “Celtic Powerhouse”.

(This is not to be confused with the Celtic Tiger, which has been a bit subdued, but is now growling again.)

And why don’t we go the whole hog and form the Anglo-Gallic corridor with Boris’s idea for a new bridge across the Channel.

Now it’s all well and good to have an industrial strategy, which Mrs May’s government has promised to revive (that’s after she revives her own leadership presumably) and investing in areas which have lagged behind, be they in triangles, powerhouses or corridors.

But I’d also humbly suggest that an easy place to start is investing in housing and infrastructure in and between those places where people and business already are and want to be in future.

Maybe the English Powersnake will take off as an idea, presumably before the next government launches the London-Luton-Lutterworth Ladder.


This week at Curtin&Co

Curtin&Co sponsors Sitematch
his week Curtin&Co were delighted to sponsor Sitematch London 2018, bringing together experts from across the development industry to discuss future regeneration and development projects.

Our COO Nick Stanton, introduced the discussions and our leading consultant Dr Paul Harvey chaired a panel debate about the role of housing associations. Not to mention, many more of our lovely consultants were also there to represent the Curtin&Co team.

Thank you Sitematch for organising such a lively, fun and useful event.

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