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New Northern Powerhouse Minister says government committed to the project

The Northern Powerhouse was former Chancellor George Osborne's great vision for the future. But since the Tatton MP was sacked, the question is - is it a thing of the past?

Today the new Minister for the Northern Powerhouse visited our region. Andrew Percy, who's an MP for a seat in Yorkshire, says the new Prime Minister Teresa May is determined that Mr Osborne's plan will become reality.

Daniel Hewitt reports.

Northern cities must become more productive to deliver powerhouse

Manchester and Liverpool must boost productivity if the Government's Northern Powerhouse is to succeed - according to a new report.

The findings from think tank Centre for Cities warns they're underperforming compared to their European counterparts. The report, ‘Building the Northern Powerhouse: lessons from the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad’ compares Northern cities to the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad regions of Germany and Holland, which the Government has cited as models.

It shows that the success of the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad regions is not the result of extensive connections between cities in these areas, as is often assumed – and that inter-city commuting links in the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad areas are actually little better than in the North of England.

There are calls for the skills gaps to be closed.

Chancellor George Osborne delivers his speech on the 'Northern Powerhouse' Credit: PA

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 Liverpool and Manchester. These big urban areas have the most potential for growth in the region, but are currently underperforming, especially in comparison to cities in more successful areas such as the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad areas.

“Instead of spreading limited monies and political focus equally across the whole region, national and local policy-makers should concentrate most resources on addressing the economic challenges that big Northern cities face, as these have greatest potential to deliver benefits for the North as a whole.”

– Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities


Preparing for take-off - Manchester Airport's £1bn vision for the future

Manchester Airport has announced a £1bn plan to transform the site over the next 10 years.

Hundreds of jobs will be created and it's expected passenger numbers will rise by almost ten million by 2025.

Those backing the plan say it'll be an important part of the vision for the so-called Northern Powerhouse.

But environmental groups say the money would be better spent on greener forms of transport.

Our correspondent Ashley Derricott looks at what it'll mean for passengers and job-seekers:

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