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:
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.
More top news
Not everything the royals do is worth reporting, writes Chris Ship - but their new campaign on mental health is to be thoroughly commended.
Estimates so far put Britain's cost for leaving the EU between £15bn and £52bn - but what are we paying for, and why?
Ricardo Medina was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.