Nick Clegg launches economic vision for the north of England

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Vince Cable, Business SecretaryNick Clegg is speaking in Leeds today to launch the Northern Futures project to find the best ideas for realising the north’s economic potential. An announcement on a series of Growth Deals, giving local leaders access to a £12 billion pot to support jobs, competitiveness and home building is expected on Monday.

While getting the north performing to its full potential is perhaps the prime economic challenge our country faces, there is something of a news blackout in the national media, with Channel 4 news at least making a token effort. The Manchester Evening News is the place to go, and puts its sister the (Manchester) Guardian to shame.

Key to the success of the ‘golden triangle’ of Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds (or greater Hebden Bridge) is the quality transport links that will enable the whole to operate as a single ‘travel to work’ area. There are already good motorway links between Leeds and Manchester, and Leeds and Sheffield. HS2 will bring a fast rail link between Leeds and Sheffield, and the ‘northern hub‘ will improve links from both to Manchester. The most costly omission here is a good road link between Sheffield and Manchester. HS3 if it happens will bring a high speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester, with some reports also mentioning Sheffield.

But transport isn’t the whole answer:

I’ve also always been clear that better transport links aren’t enough on their own to help these Northern Giants fully exploit their strengths and thrive.

For that to happen, local leaders and businesses need a much bigger say in where public investment in their areas should be targeted in the future. That’s why I’ve made it my priority in this Government to give them that power and control back from Whitehall, putting them in the driving seat to steer their local economy’s success.

Make your suggestions on how to boost the northern economy to [email protected].

Photo by BIS

* Joe Otten was the candidate for Sheffield Heeley in June 2017, is a councillor in Sheffield and is Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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11 Comments

  • In the last week or so, Osborne, Miliband and now Clegg have all done the ~ let’s promise to shovel some money up ‘t’ North~ in order to garner some votes. And I for one, believe every promise they make, at least up until the end of May 2015.

  • Stephen Donnelly 4th Jul '14 - 3:15pm

    I don’t want to be negative, but he did not launch an economic vision for the North of England, he launched a consultation exercise. Nothing wrong with that in itself but it does not support the claim in the headline.

  • Fantastic if I move 60 miles south I can be in the north. The north of England ends at the Scottish border or does nick think I am in Southern Scotland fwiw it makes me cross the only party that spent money here was conservative under Thatches, labour under Blair zilch and he lived 15 miles away. How about money for the really poor areas.

  • Tony Dawson 4th Jul '14 - 6:52pm

    Didn’t that Osborne bloke kind of do this a few days ago?

  • Stephen Donnelly 4th Jul '14 - 8:26pm

    If you have not already done so may I recommend that you follow the link that Ian bb gives to his blog. It refers to Ming Campbell’s Commission. That is what ‘a vision’ looks like…

  • peter tyzack 5th Jul '14 - 8:25am

    evidence if any were needed, that the ‘free’ press simply means they are free to ignore us and thereby distort the news profile…
    and if BBC-tv didn’t keep on about the weather and running trailers for their own programmes during the news slots then they would have time for a wider range of stories.

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