Osborne Northern Powerhouse Announcement

Guardian

George Osborne is to announce plans to transform the North of England into an economic “powerhouse” with an investment of up to £15 billion.

Mr Osborne will unveil plans for new “money, infrastructure and science” in the north which will form the “centrepiece” of his Autumn Statement later this year.

In a speech in Manchester at the unveiling of a report by local authorities, Mr Osborne will say: “I give you this personal commitment. Work with me over the coming months and together we will make a reality of the plan I’ve set out for the Northern powerhouse.

“I’m ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science. And real civic power too.

“Today I’m setting out the northern powerhouse, so we can deliver a real improvement in the long term economic performance of the north of England.

The Chancellor is also likely to be questioned on whether his party should campaign to leave the European Union if it fails to secure significant reforms.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is on Wednesday expected to throw his support behind a report saying it would be better for Britain to leave the EU if it cannot claw back powers.

The report by local authorities in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, proposes a series of transport improvements to complement the new High Speed railway line. The investments will be worth up to £18 billion.

The government will consider the plans alongside a report in September by the chief scientist on how to make the north a centre for research and development.

The following month Sir David Higgins, the head of the High Speed 2 project, will deliver his report on the northern phase of the line.

In November, Mr Osborne will set out proposals to devolve civic power and responsibilities in cities with a new generation of elected mayors.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council said: “The current constraints on our transport networks, the product of years of neglect and underinvestment, affect the competitiveness of the north.

“East-West journeys take almost twice as long as equivalent journeys in the south and our rail links are too slow and uncoordinated. Our motorways are congested, and there is an over-reliance on the M62.”

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