Discussions to boost growth, productivity and infrastructure in Northern Powerhouse regions will take place today.
The government’s first meeting with all three Metro Mayors based in the North of England will be convened by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.
The meeting will involve Andy Burnham, the Manchester Mayor, the Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor.
These areas combine more than £102 billion to the UK economy so the productivity in all three and investment in issues like infrastructure and transport are all crucial to ensure the regions continue to thrive.
Mr Hammond has been clear that the Northern Powerhouse is going to be even more important to the country’s Industrial Strategy and funding for transport, skills and innovation have already been announced, with further investment for road improvements expected.
The Chancellor said: “Boosting productivity in the North is at the very heart of the government’s ambition to build an economy that works for everyone.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is even more important that we support the Northern Powerhouse to reach its full potential.
“That’s why we are investing record amounts in infrastructure and working with Metro Mayors to encourage growth and create opportunities throughout the North.”
Mr Hammond will check on the progress of Ordsall Chord, which will connect the main three railway stations in Manchester and provide direct links to Manchester Airport – a scheme that will boost productivity, jobs and growth.
He is then expected to go on to Leeds to monitor progress on the Seacraft development scheme which will create approximately 700 homes.
The meeting should result in interesting and forthright discussions. Ministers believe productivity in the region could be higher, while Mr Burnham and Mr Rotheram have voiced their displeasure that manifesto promises regarding railway line electrification have been scrapped at a time when funding for Crossrail 2 is being sought.