Prime Minister May set to unveil £556m boost for the North

THERESA MAY will announce a £556m boost for the so-called 'northern powerhouse' as she launches the Government's industrial strategy at her first regional Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

Theresa May
Theresa May

The Prime Minister is travelling to the north west on Monday (Jan 23) to unveil her industrial strategy and will use the visit to announce new projects to create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth in the North.

Among the projects are the Goole Intermodal Terminal to link the town’s existing rail, sea, motorway and waterway links to one site.

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The latest cash comes on top of the £2.9 billion of growth deal funding already awarded to 11 local enterprise partnerships in the region.

Mrs May said the scheme is aimed at improving living standards, productivity and the spread of economic growth around the UK.

The Prime Minister said: “It’s about saying what are our strengths, as we come out of the European Union, we’re coming together as a country, we’re forging our shape, our future.

“We’re shaping a new future for the UK as a global Britain, and how can we do that.

“What the modern industrial strategy will be about will be saying what is the shape of the economy that we want in the future.

“Where are the successful sectors that we can help to encourage to grow, but also what are the sectors that we need to look at for the future too.

“You’ve mentioned technical education, but there’s a lot we can do in science and innovation.”

At its heart will be an overhaul of technical education, including £170m of capital funding to set up institutes of technology to deliver education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects.

Mrs May also highlighted plans to extend specialist maths schools, and a new research institute looking at battery and storage technology. Thousands of technical qualifications, many of which the Government sees as low quality, will be replaced with 15 core technical “routes” designed to meet the needs of industry and teach skills in demand from local employers.

The 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships in the Northern Powerhouse have been awarded money including Tees Valley £21.8m, York, North Yorkshire, East Riding £23.7m, Humber £27.9m, Leeds City Region £67.5m and Sheffield City Region £37.8m.

Business & Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “This is an important step in building a modern, dynamic industrial strategy that will improve living standards and drive economic growth across the whole country. A modern British Industrial Strategy must - build on the UK’s strengths and extend excellence into the future; close the gap between the the UK’s most productive companies, industries, places and people and the rest; and ensure we are one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a business.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said “FSB has appreciated being part of the discussions with the Business Secretary since last year to help shape the Industrial Strategy.”

Adam Marshall, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce said: “Business communities across the UK will be pleased to see that harnessing the potential of our cities, towns and counties lies at the heart of the government’s approach to Industrial Strategy. There are dynamic business communities in every corner of the UK - and it is their future success that will make our country more competitive and more prosperous.”