Theresa May said he wants the North to prosper and will back Yorkshire’s many innovators and entrepreneurs and prioritise a devolution deal.
A £24m investment package to bring cycling’s World Road Championships to Yorkshire and develop new cycle networks has also been announced today, in a move that will provide another welcome boost to tourism after the great success of the Grand Depart in 2014.
Responding to the Yorkshire Post’s hard-hitting letter sent to Downing Street on Yorkshire Day (August 1) setting out six key priorities for the region, Mrs May said: “On Yorkshire Day, this newspaper brought together business and political leaders from across the county to write an open letter to me, setting out plans to make Yorkshire stronger.
“I share that vision, and the government will do everything it can to help this already remarkable county achieve its full potential.”
Her support for the Northern Powerhouse will silence critics concerned she wanted to axe the former Chancellor’s flagship policy.
Mrs May has previously said she wanted to extend the Northern Powerhouse plan to all parts of the UK which some felt diluted its original purpose in fuelling Northern economic regeneration.
She said: “Yorkshire is a key part of our vision for a Northern Powerhouse – our plan to help the great cities and towns of the north pool their strengths and take on the world.”
Turning to Britain’s future outside the EU she reiterated how her pledge to underwrite science investment projects which had relied on EU funding will ensure pioneering projects do not fall by the wayside.
She said: “As we leave the EU, the British government will underwrite science investments made by EU institutions, so that key investments in Yorkshire – like EU funding for advanced materials in Rotherham – are not disrupted.”
Her decision to disband the Department for Innovation and Skills and instead focus on an industrial strategy for Britain should play to Yorkshire’s strengths with a focus on financial and health technology in Leeds, advanced manufacturing in south Yorkshire, and innovative new textiles in West Yorkshire.
However the jewel in the crown for her renewed support for Yorkshire is by giving it time in the cycling spotlight once again.
In 2019 it will hosts the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in collaboration with the UK Government, UK Sport and British Cycling.
Sir Gary Verity, the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire which was part of the bidding team, said: “This is the icing on the cake. It will be a week long festival of cycling in Yorkshire and fantastic for the whole of the UK.”