David Cameron and George Osborne want Manchester to form part of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ capable of matching London – and the world – for economic output.
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of Exchequer stopped by Victoria train station and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) following the announcement of a proposed HS3 high-speed railway line to connect northern cities from Liverpool to Hull.
And the £7billion plans promise to build a combined northern ‘supercity’ to challenge the economic might of the capital.
“We need a Northern powerhouse,” Osborne said, speaking at the Power Hall at MOSI.
“Not one city, but a collection of cities – sufficiently close to each that combined they can take on the world.”
Citing the cluster of financial firms in London and Silicon Valley in the USA, the Conservative duo want to form an economic hub between the likes of Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle that is ‘more than the sum of its parts’.
“We’ll want to see not just better services, and more seats at peak times, but also better journeys,” said the Chancellor.
“We’ve done a lot – but we must do much more to connect our northern cities.
“Let’s bring our Northern cities together, so they’re bigger and better than anyone can be alone.”
Transport is forming a key part of the Government’s strategy and Cameron and Osborne donned hard hats and overalls to inspect work on the city centre’s second Metrolink line earlier today.
At the £44m overhaul of Manchester’s Victoria station. Building a “Northern Powerhouse” is key to our long-term plan. pic.twitter.com/epyxjrD2i3
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 23, 2014
Visiting Manchester Victoria station with PM where we’re investing £44 million as part of Northern hub rail project. #NorthernPowerhouse
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) June 23, 2014
The proposed third high-speed rail line, dubbed HS3, will see existing railway lines updated to connect the Manchester and Leeds with Birmingham, although a final decision on the specific route is expected to be confirmed at the end of the year.
Journey times between the two northern cities could be cut from 50 minutes to 30 minutes under the plans.
The HS2 rail project has struggled to get out of the station amid controversial plans and considerable backlash from residents affected by the proposed route.
The troubled development has endured delays and carries an estimated £32.7million price tag.
Off the train tracks, Osborne also announced investment on the roads with the M62 set to receive a boost as well as the M1 and the A1 in the North East.
Plans are also already under way to develop an exhibition on graphene, Manchester’s latest global scientific export, in 2015, said Mr Blatchford. The properties of this new form of carbon, found by
Produced by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester, graphene has potential in the aerospace, automobile, electronics, and communications industries.