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New minister pledges continued commitment to Northern Powerhouse

The new minister responsible for the Northern Powerhouse has promised the programme will still go ahead under the new government.

Andrew Percy began an official tour of the North yesterday, in which he will visit Hull, Manchester and Liverpool to see the Northern Powerhouse in practice.

Percy has served as the MP for Brigg and Goole since 2010 and was appointed parliamentary under-secretary for the Northern Powerhouse at the DCLG in the recent government reshuffle.

Percy said: “Building the Northern Powerhouse is a long-term government priority and central to our plans to rebalance the economy.

“As a proud Northerner, I am determined to ensure that people in every part of the North – from large cities to small rural communities – enjoy greater control over their lives and stronger, more sustainable economic growth.

“That’s why this government will continue to support major investments to unlock the potential of the North and ensure that every area benefits from a growing economy.”

Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is fantastic to be able to continue to champion the Northern Powerhouse within the very heart of government and there will be no let-up in our commitment to fuel the local economy through encouraging foreign investment, improving transport and creating new jobs.”

Percy’s speech follows warnings that the devolution process and major infrastructure projects could be derailed by an economic downturn as a consequence of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

The government also released data today showing that the nine enterprise zones in the North (Daresbury, Humber, Lancashire, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, North Tees and East Tees) have created 8,000 jobs and attracted £1.3bn investment since they were established in April 2012.

(Image c. Bill Richards)

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