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Chancellor to discuss infrastructure with northern mayors

Chancellor to discuss infrastructure with northern mayors

The mayors of three metropolitan regions in the north of England are to meet with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to discuss future funding for infrastructure and housebuilding projects in the Northern Powerhouse area.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen will be talking to Mr Hammond as he visits the north to see some of the schemes that are already taking place.

The Chancellor said that further investment in these metropolitan areas - which have a combined total of five million residents - would help boost economic productivity and further increase employment. 

Speaking ahead of the meetings, Mr Hammond said: "Boosting productivity in the north is at the very heart of the government’s ambition to build an economy that works for everyone.

"As we prepare to leave the European Union it is even more important that we support the Northern Powerhouse to reach its full potential.

"That’s why we are investing record amounts in infrastructure, and working with Metro mayors to encourage growth and create opportunities throughout the north."

He will be visiting the Ordsall Chord project in Manchester to inspect the progress being made on the new rail link between Piccadilly and Victoria stations, which will enable trains to run across the city on a north-south axis.

Following this, Mr Hammond will be visiting the Seacroft housing project in Leeds. The 700 homes under construction there could be the start of a much larger surge in building in the city, with communities secretary Sajid Javid revealing the government is currently discussing a new 'housing deal' with the city council.

Much of the discussion may involve the mayors advocating more spending on transport, particularly after the recent controversy when government plans to electrify northern rail routes were dropped. 

The decision came just days before transport secretary Chris Grayling announced that the government would be backing Crossrail 2 in London, prompting Mr Burnham to argue that the Northern Powerhouse was being neglected.

Image: iStock

 

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