George Osborne will say a collection of northern cities linked closer together by new transport infrastructure could "take on the world" as he bids to end London's "unhealthy" economic dominance.
The Chancellor will say in a keynote speech in Manchester today:
– Chancellor George Osborne
We need an ambitious plan to make the cities and towns here in this northern belt radically more connected from east to west - to create the equivalent of travelling around a single global city.
As well as fixing the roads, that means considering a new high speed rail link.
Today I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high-speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds.