The Government needs to invest more in building up skills and industry in the so-called 'northern powerhouse' cities, according to a report.

The Centre for Cities think-tank says Leeds and Sheffield are 'underperforming' in economic terms - by around 40 per cent - in comparison with their European counterparts.

The report says simply building better transport links between our northern cities, such as HS3, is not enough.

“The Government’s initiative has the potential to have a huge impact in addressing the North/South divide, but only if it maintains its original focus of boosting productivity in major Northern cities such as Leeds and Sheffield.

Alexandra Jones, Centre for Cities
Commuters make their way in to Sheffield city centre from the train station Credit: Press Association

The Government responded that its agenda is already much broader than simply focussing on transport.

“The government is determined to rebalance Britain’s economy through building a Northern Powerhouse – a long-term project aimed at creating growth in our northern cities and towns. Centre for Cities recognises the need to address skills needs, strengthen transport networks and champion strong local leadership, which is exactly what we are doing.

Department for Communities and Local Government