Northern Powerhouse: Chancellor set for first meeting with Metro Mayors
Chancellor Philip Hammond is insisting that boosting northern economic prosperity remains high on the agenda despite ongoing Brexit negotiations, as he today (Monday 4 September) convenes the government’s first meeting with all three northern Metro Mayors.
Hammond will meet Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, and the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who collectively hail from areas with a combined economy worth more than £102bn, to discuss boosting productivity in the north.
The government says it will continue to support the ’Northern Powerhouse; through devolution and investment - including record amounts in transport, alongside support for skills and innovation.
According to the Chancellor, the North will play a key role in the Industrial Strategy and efforts to ensure Britain makes the most of the opportunities ahead as we leave the European Union.
Hammond 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.”
The Chancellor will also see how work is progressing on a new rail link, Ordsall Chord, which will connect Manchester’s three main train stations, and provide new direct-links to Manchester Airport from across the North of England.
The initiative will reportedly help support jobs and growth across the region, reducing commuting times and speeding up links to foreign markets – all key to helping boost productivity, according to the government.
Hammond will then travel to Leeds to see progress being made to create up to 700 homes at the Seacroft development in the east of the city. This has received support from the government through the Home and Communities Agency’s single land programme.
Sajid Javid, Communities and Local Government Secretary, added: “I want to strike housing deals across the country to support councils’ ambitious and innovative plans for new homes, and to help boost supply where it’s most needed.
“We’re committed to considering all tools at our disposal, and by using our money more flexibly we can deliver more homes.
“We’re making good progress with a Leeds housing deal and hope to announce further details at Autumn Budget. As well as increasing housing, this will help grow local economies as part of our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.”