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Philip Hammond: Northern Powerhouse must reach ‘full potential’

The Chancellor said the Government was investing “record amounts” in infrastructure in northern England.

Supporting the Northern Powerhouse to reach its “full potential” is even more important as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, Philip Hammond has said.

The Chancellor, who will meet metro mayors to discuss productivity in the north on Monday, said the Government was investing “record amounts” in infrastructure in northern England.

He will convene the Government’s first meeting with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, and the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houche and see the new rail hub linking Manchester’s major stations and a new airport route.

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Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will meet with the Chancellor Philip Hammond to discuss the productivity in the north (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Hammond’s visit comes after a series of rail links in the North, Wales and Midlands were axed or downgraded as the Government supports plans for a new £30 billion Crossrail 2 scheme in London and the South East.

Mr Burnham criticised Transport Secretary Chris Grayling for backing Crossrail 2, and last month said people in northern England were tired of “clapped-out trains”.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the Chancellor said: “Boosting productivity in the North is at the very heart of the Government’s ambition to build an economy that works for everyone.

“As we prepare to leave the European Union it is even more important that we support the Northern Powerhouse to reach its full potential.

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Sajid Javid wants to help grow local economies as part of our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse (PA Wire)

“That’s why we are investing record amounts in infrastructure, and working with metro mayors to encourage growth and create opportunities throughout the North.”

Mr Hammond will also visit Leeds to see the progress on a development of 700 homes which have received support from the Government, and is set to reveal that good progress is being made on a housing deal with the city.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I want to strike housing deals across the country to support councils’ ambitious and innovative plans for new homes, and to help boost supply where it’s most needed. We’re committed to considering all tools at our disposal, and by using our money more flexibly we can deliver more homes.

“We’re making good progress with a Leeds housing deal and hope to announce further details at Autumn Budget. As well as increasing housing, this will help grow local economies as part of our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.”

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