Business leaders urge Government to build £43bn Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme

Regional business leaders have urged the Government to give the go-ahead to the £43bn Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project.

Roger Marsh has urged the Government to give the go-ahead to Northern Powerhouse Rail

NP11, which represents 11 Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, said the Government’s forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan should include NPR, which would create a new fast rail link between Liverpool and Hull and also improve connections between Leeds and Newcastle as well as Sheffield and Manchester.

The NP11’s submission to the Government’s Spending Review, which will be announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on October 27, argues that NPR could create 20,000 construction jobs and support 77,000 jobs in the North in the future, as well as assisting with the decarbonisation agenda.

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Sir Roger Marsh, chairman of the NP11 and Leeds City Region LEP, said: “From a business perspective, improved connectivity gives us longer, faster and more frequent train services which has a vast array of benefits.

“It will give employers access to a deeper pool of talent across the North; and open up access to new customers for existing businesses, encouraging them expand, innovate and take more risks.

“Just as importantly, it will also help to attract and boost investment, both from at home and abroad.

Northern Powerhouse Rail and related investment will deliver an economic boost to our towns and cities, and move the North towards a more integrated economy that will ‘level up’ the region and boost UK productivity.

“Investing in our region’s rail infrastructure will be a necessity if we are to fully deliver the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

“The programme will connect the major economic centres of the North as well as under-served communities, generating opportunity, attracting investment, creating jobs and unleashing our potential.”

Lancashire LEP chair Debbie Francis said: “This strategic rail investment is essential to realising a north of England that is productive, competitive and on the path to net zero.

“The NP11 would like to strongly express the need for rapid progress on the Integrated Rail Plan and Northern Powerhouse Rail.”

News expected at Tory conference

Ministers will reveal more about the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project in the “next few days” Boris Johnson has said, hailing the project as “fantastic” for the North.

Mr Johnson also suggested that there could be more certainty over HS2 “very soon” as he told reporters that “we’ll be saying more about some of the really big ticket items” at the Conservative party conference.

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