North can lead the way in UK's recovery from coronavirus pandemic

The Northern Powerhouse can play a major role in the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus, claim business leaders.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 3:44 pm
All towns and cities like Preston have been badly hit by the pandemic

Investing in green energy, providing targeted educational support for the North’s most disadvantaged families and funding major infrastructure improvement in both transport and connectivity could allow the government to level-up the UK economy.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership has published five recommendations for how the government can rebalance the economy – creating thousands of jobs and economic growth by maximising the potential of the North.

The five proposals are:

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*Providing training for those who have lost their jobs or left school during the coronavirus lockdown.

Devolve all skills funding to existing Mayors alongside accelerating devolution to other areas.

*Providing extra teaching for children who have fallen behind in school work during the crisis.

An initial £300 million of funding in addition to better targeting projected higher pupil premium spend next year from free school meal entitlement.

*Green energy jobs.

Roll out of Small Modular Reactor factory-based building programme, establishment of at least one Carbon Capture and Storage cluster in Northern Powerhouse and expansion of jobs in wind, tidal and battery storage supply chains for major schemes.

*Building new railways and roads.

Accelerate elements of High Speed North, such Sheffield to Manchester, as well as starting on new lines between Leeds and Manchester/Liverpool where possible.

*Providing faster broadband to every household

The Northern Powerhouse proposals – backed by major UK businesses – are supported by polling of more than 1,700 people across the North.

Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director Henri Murison said: “The Northern Powerhouse is an economic vision to increase the contribution the North makes to the UK economy.

"Never has that been more relevant than now as we attempt to emerge from this terrible pandemic.”