Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to fund a new trans-pennine rail route between Leeds and Manchester in a bid to push 'regional growth and prosperity' in the north.
In a speech in Manchester on Saturday, Mr Johnson reaffirmed that one of his top domestic priorities will be to level out opportunities, and unlock the potential not just of London and the South East - but of every corner of the UK.
He outlined his major domestic agenda, including investment in education, tackling crime, boosting connectivity, and improving technology across the country.
A new rail link connecting Leeds to Manchester is one of the first intercity rail routes to be announced.
It is part of Northern Powerhouse Rail, with detailed plans expected to be published this autumn, following the review into HS2.
The announcement was welcomed by Barry White, the Chief Executive of Transport for the North.