The Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy his first official tour of the North since his appointment.
He says ambitious plans to build a Northern Powerhouse remain a key government priority.
Mr Percy is visiting Manchester and Liverpool to hear for himself how devolving greater power from Whitehall to Town Halls and greater investment is already leading to the creation of jobs and stronger economic growth.
The Government highlights key achievements to date:
- Five historic devolution deals have been agreed across the Northern Powerhouse – in Sheffield, Greater Manchester, North-East, Tees Valley and Liverpool
- 55% of the population of the Northern Powerhouse will vote in an elected Mayor next year, giving each area a powerful new voice in national life
- Major investment in transport has been committed including a new rail franchise on the Northern network delivering 2,000 extra services each week,
- £200 million for Transport for the North and a £60 million package for exploring work on HS3
- Attracting foreign investment - there has been 127% growth in the number of foreign direct investment projects in the Northern Powerhouse over the last two years with the North-West outperforming every other region in the UK
- The employment rate in the Northern Powerhouse is close to its record high, and since June 2014 unemployment has fallen faster in the North than in the South