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
The number of children in care has increased to its highest level for nearly 25 years, the Government's spending watchdog has said.
Abuse victims are being put through "torture" by the pace at which the Government's inquiry into abuse is progressing, an MP has said.
The number of diabetic and severely overweight patients having weight loss surgery needs to triple to help the future of the NHS, Nice said.