Government reaffirms commitment to people across the North as Northern Powerhouse reaches five year milestone

Five years on from the launch of the Northern Powerhouse, people across the North have benefitted from economic growth worth billions of pounds, tens of thousands of new jobs and powers and money being transferred away from Westminster.

The Government is now looking ahead to the next five years with an ambitious strategy which will build on the progress made so far and provide more opportunities for people to achieve their ambitions no matter where in the North they live.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

We launched the Northern Powerhouse to support a thriving Northern economy and ensure this country works for everyone.

Five years on, our pledge is stronger than ever.

From kickstarting the biggest transfer of power to local leaders since the Second World War, to driving up exports and spending billions on vital transport links, we’re working to ensure our great Northern cities and communities have the power and resources they need to succeed.

But there is much more to do, which is why it must remain a top priority for government to do all it can to unlock the North’s vast potential, so that both at home and on the international stage the Northern Powerhouse continues to thrive.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP has today reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to supporting people across the North to reach their full potential.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP said:

The Northern Powerhouse was created five years ago because communities across the North had been overlooked for too long.

I’m proud that communities across the Northern Powerhouse are so vocal and ambitious for their future. The Government shares their vision and no one is ignoring them anymore.

The Northern Powerhouse is more than a plan for the future, it’s a story of success. From record investment in transport to more than £5 billion in devolution and growth deals across the North we are making progress towards rebalancing our economy but we are determined to do even more to make sure the whole of the North can reach its full potential.

Since its launch in June 2014, government has worked in partnership with businesses and communities to drive productivity and increase opportunities for people all across the North:

  • The economy of the North is now worth more than £339 billion – a £10 billion increase in real terms – and supports an additional 287,000 people in employment.
  • The Government is spending a record £13 billion investment in transport which includes an upcoming £3 billion investment into the Trans-Pennine route and support for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
  • Almost half of people in the North are now represented by elected metro mayors with control over local spending plans and who provide their region with an influential voice on the national and world stage.
  • There has been a renewed focus on education and skills with the £70 million Northern Powerhouse school strategy to raise standards while investment in vocational qualifications means that a third of the country’s apprentices are in the North. In addition to this there has been support for schools in the North East with £24 million of funding through the Opportunity North East programme, a bespoke programme of support for schools and communities.  
  • The Northern Powerhouse is firmly on the international stage – since 2010 the Government has roughly doubled the number of foreign direct investments to more than 1,000, creating more than 39,400 jobs.
  • Businesses in the Northern Powerhouse have been supported through £20 million of new funding for a ‘Made Smarter’ pilot in the North West to support 3000 SME’s to adopt new digital technologies to improve competitiveness and productivity, Growth Hubs have also supported over 44k businesses helping over 8000 people start and grow their own businesses
  • The Government has also supported major cultural projects in the North with the £15 million Northern Cultural Investment Fund. In 2018, following a competition, three areas were awarded money: £4 million for the restoration of the Odeon Cinema in Bradford as a 4000 capacity live music venue, £4 million to create a museum in Blackpool that will celebrate the town’s history as the UK’s first mass seaside holiday resort and £3.3 million to enhance the visitor experience at cultural attractions across the Lake District, the UK’s newest World Heritage Site   

In addition, it was announced earlier this month that the Northern Powerhouse Minister is now a joint position shared between the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy which will see the Northern Powerhouse Minister’s oversight and coordination of local economic growth boosted to improve its impact for people and communities across the country.

It will also ensure key policies like the £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund and the Northern Powerhouse are at the heart of delivering the government’s Modern Industrial Strategy.

The Northern Powerhouse’s first ambitious Local Industrial Strategy was recently launched for Greater Manchester – where government, business and local leaders have worked closely together as equal partners. The strategy focuses on the region’s strength in advanced manufacturing, digital and healthcare innovation. It demonstrates the power of local people and the government working together to create good jobs, boost productivity and increase people’s earning power.

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