Jim O'Neill

Jim O’Neill

It’s an idea first put forward by Manchester-born Jim O’Neill (the former Goldman Sachs economist who coined the term “Brics” for Brazil, Russia, India and China) that Manchester and Liverpool would be better off united by a single name.

And this morning two well known north west broadcasters, Terry Christian and Janice Long took to the airwaves to debate the idea.

They weren’t too hopeful of a new identity being successfully adopted as you can here in this audio clip from the morning Radio 4 Today programme.

The idea is also being discussed online. Over at Skyscraper city, commenter Brian Groom sums it up:

“Mr O’Neill is chairing the City Growth Commission, an independent inquiry looking at how to boost growth outside London. His point is that UK provincial cities lack scale, unlike China, Germany and the US, which have a number of large urban areas fuelling their economic strength. Any form of joint government between the two cities seems unrealistic, but better infrastructure and commercial links can only help. Liverpudlians might prefer to call it ‘Liverchester’.”

But it’s not without its supporters – another commenter called Twizzer88 welcomes it saying:

“I’ve long thought this a brilliant idea, though I prefer a term like ‘South Lancashire Metropolitan Area’ or something. A high speed spur from Manchester to Liverpool would reduce travel times between the two significantly. Even a direct train with no stops would do some good. IMO, the two cities complement each other greatly – and I’ve lived in both.”

We’re sure Prolific North readers will have their own views. Impossible? Daft? Refreshing?