The prize is huge if North's potential can be unlocked, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis tells Rotherham conference

Political will and "transformational" levels of investment are needed to unlock the potential of the North and deliver a huge prize for the whole country, according to Yorkshire's only metro mayor.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis. Pic: Chris Etchells

Opening the Convention of the North with NP11 conference at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham today, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis, said the qualities of the North could help the country and the world "respond to the great challenges we face".

But he said: "Our potential remains unlocked. if we can come together and unlock that potential the size of the prize for the North and the whole country is huge.

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"To do this we need a plan, transformational levels of investment to deliver it and the political will and drive to get it done. Much of that has to come from us, if we don't do it no-one else will.

"We also need help from national government, not a hand-out but a hand-up."

The event in Rotherham today is expected to include a speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and will see northern political and business leaders debate issues including health, transport, education and the environment,

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis. Pic: Chris Etchells

Mr Jarvis told the audience that "when business leaders, community groups, young people and political leaders from across the political divide and across the North come together we can achieve something special".

Citing the work on the Northern Forest project and Channel 4's arrival in Leeds, he said: "We have achieved so much but with greater powers and resources we can achieve so much more.

"If we are given the resources and powers and the opportunity to get the job done then we will. That means more ambitious devolution settlements for our region, transformational levels of investment and not settling for second best.

"My collective noun for a group of northerners would have to be an endeavour, so let's make sure we live up to that."