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Boris Johnson vows to give more power to the Northern Powerhouse regions

Boris Johnson has pledged his support for the Northern Powerhouse and for further devolution deals, alongside announcing the creation of a new growth body with powers to bring together major organisations in the region.

Giving a speech in South Yorkshire, Johnson reiterated that he remains committed to delivering the Sheffield City Region Deal, and pointed to further devolution deals for Yorkshire and possible negotiations with Leeds and West Yorkshire.

The Northern Powerhouse growth body will be set up to drive forward the region’s economy, and a chair will be appointed to lead it, reportedly working closely with the Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry.

The Prime Minister declared in his speech that “we are going to maximise the power of the north” and make sure “it is people who are in control over the things that matter to them.”

“It is time that we gave more people a say over the places where they live, and it is time that we gave you the proper ability to run things your way.”

Key leaders from the north, including several metro mayors and major transport boards, last month called for a “northern budget” to spend on the north’s infrastructure and deliver major changes quickly.

READ MORE: North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

The Prime Minister did recently publicly back Northern Powerhouse Rail and has previously said he is not looking to scrap HS2, despite the rising costs and possible delays, but has since ordered a review of the controversial flagship project.

Johnson ended his speech by saying: “If we succeed in levelling up opportunity across our country, and if we truly put the power in your hands, then I believe you will do for the North – and for our whole country - what the railways did two centuries ago.

“That is the true potential of this Northern Powerhouse Partnership. And this is a Government that will back you to deliver it.”

The Northern Powerhouse agenda will be at the centre of the debate at the upcoming EvoNorth, a two-day event being held on 4-5 March 2020 in Manchester, looking at future areas of investment for the region. To find out more about the event and how to attend, click here.

Image credit - Rui Vieira/PA Wire/PA Images


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