Osborne Appeals to Labour's Heartland By Eyeing 'Northern Powerhouse' Build
Osborne appeals to Labour's heartland by eyeing 'Northern Powerhouse' buildReuters

Chancellor George Osborne attempted to build on Greater Manchester's ambitious devolution deal signed in November 2014, announcing the region will keep its extra business rates revenue.

Osborne said the government will pilot a new scheme in Greater Manchester and Cheshire East to enable the retention of 100% of any additional business rate growth, starting in April.

This "will mean local areas will see the full benefits of policy decisions that increase the local growth rate and business rate revenues, sharpening incentives to boost jobs and growth".

A similar a pilot scheme will also be rolled out in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, starting in April.

West Yorkshire will also be given new powers over skills, business support and transport, the chancellor's budget has outlined.

Lord Livingston, the Minister for Trade and Investment, said in a statement: "Ensuring our Northern cities can attract the investment they need is vital to building our vision of a Northern Powerhouse that is greater than the sum of its parts and can compete on the global stage alongside London.

"This new money will allow UKTI to help more businesses in our northern cities to achieve success overseas and also secure the investment needed for 21st-century transport connectivity which is at last becoming a reality," he said.

Northern Powerhouse: What was already announced in 2014

  • Devolving power to Greater Manchester, with the creation of a new directly elected metro Mayor
  • Devolving power to Sheffield, including over transport, skills and business support
  • £13bn of investment committed to transport in the north of England, including building the northern rail hub
  • Supporting a further £2.7bn of investment for new trains on the east coast
  • Investing in major road upgrades including the A1, M62, M1, A556 and Mersey Gateway Bridge, in addition to the £50bn commitment to develop High Speed 2
  • Strengthening science and technology hubs with new projects and ensuring that future revenue benefits of shale gas exploitation are reinvested through a long-term investment fund

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