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9 March 2017

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Chancellor pledges further support for Northern Powerhouse

Posted by: Nick Johnson

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond has pledged further Treasury support for ongoing efforts to create and maintain the North of England as a powerhouse of the wider UK economy.

Mr Hammond said his government will be committing £147 million to improve roads and local transport links across the North and that a new £690 million fund will be distributed to councils across the region in support of local transport projects.

A sum of close to £30 million has also been committed to local council bodies during 2017 and 2018 in order to offset the potential impact and the costs associated with incoming business rate revaluations.

Extra financing was also pledged for the NHS and the education infrastructure across the North over the next few years.

The chancellor suggested during his Budget address to the House of Commons that it is particularly important for all parts of Britain to fulfil their full economic potential at a time when the country is preparing to leave the European Union.

“Today’s Budget sets out how we will lay the foundations for a stronger Britain outside the EU and build an economy that works for everyone, in all corners of society and every region of the country,” he said.

“The investments I have announced today back our work to build a Northern Powerhouse with a significant cash boost for local transport to make journeys shorter and improve congestion on the region’s busiest roads while our major commitments on skills, health, education and social care will benefit those right across the North.”

The scale of the contribution made by the cities and regions that make up the North of England has increased considerably in recent years.

The latest official figures suggest that the North contributed around £316 billion to the UK economy in 2015, which represents a £40 billion increase on the figure for 2010.

Within that same timeframe, the number of men and women in employment across the North of England has increased notably and by a total of around 429,000.

In November 2016, shortly after taking over the role of chancellor, Philip Hammond outlined in a Northern Powerhouse strategy document that he will be aiming to “continue the excellent work” of his predecessor George Osborne and ensure that the North of England has “a vibrant and growing economy” for years to come.

A total of £13 billion has been pledged towards local transport and infrastructure projects in the North over the life of the current parliament.

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