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Big city leaders commit to Northern Powerhouse agenda

City councils aim to rebalance the nation’s economy by working together in areas such as manufacturing, energy, health and digital

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City councils working together to rebalance economy
City councils working together to rebalance economy

The leaders of five core English cities have pledged to work together to ensure the full potential of a Northern Powerhouse is achieved.


In a joint statement, the leaders of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield city councils said they would work together with the government to deliver the vision of a North of England which can help rebalance the nation’s economy.


Four sectors, in particular, were identified in an Independent Economic Review as pan-Northern strengths and these are: advanced manufacturing; energy; health innovation; and digital.


The statement added that the cities would work with “every part of the north” to meet their shared objectives and this can only be achieved through sustained long-term investment in people, places and infrastructure. “And we have also taken strong steps towards improving connectivity across the Northern Powerhouse.”


It continued: “We now need to expand our focus to consider not just what powers places have, but also how these powers are used. In particular, we need to ensure that the powers that sit at national and local level are used in a coherent, collaborative way. It is only through working together that we can achieve our shared vision for the Northern Powerhouse.”


“Closer links will enable the great northern cities to compete not against each other but together at scale on a national and international stage,” added Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council. “We need to redress a legacy of underinvestment in the North and capitalise on our existing strengths. It won’t happen overnight but we are all determined to deliver it.”


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