Manifesto for the North published as campaigning begins

Northern business and elected leaders have published their Manifesto for the North which sets out a bold new vision for the North of England and key asks of a new government to help power up the North.

The manifesto will be presented to the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats as a unified vision for how the North’s full potential can be unleashed, including five policy ‘game changers’ which outline the North’s ambitions for clean growth, devolution, transport, education, investment and trade.

The game changers pledged for the North are: local control of education and training, skills provision that is systematically connected to the North’s businesses and growth needs; a commitment to rebalancing the economy as a formal HM Treasury objective; a transport budget for the North; ownership of, and freedom to lead, investment and trade activities to drive export led growth; and backing the North to lead the green industrial revolution, harnessing and investing in its prime capability in renewable energy, decarbonising industry, retrofitting existing housing stock and building new homes to the highest standards.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This General Election must be a change election for the North of England. The time has come for the North to break free of the shackles of a London-centric Parliament and take more control over its own destiny. People here feel a deep sense of frustration that our political system has not worked as well for us as it has for others. It has left us with a second-class transport service, a housing crisis and a deep North-South divide.

“But, despite that, Northern political and business leaders share a positive belief in the potential of our region and its incredible people. We are optimistic about our future. The fact that we have come together across geographical and political divides to make this unprecedented and united call for change is a clear demonstration of the strength of our feeling.”

The Manifesto for the North is a five-point plan produced by the Convention of the North and NP11 - a group of all 11 Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Roger Marsh, chair of the NP11, said: “Our region led the first Industrial Revolution and today it can become the crucible for the fourth - and first sustainable - industrial revolution, but only if we take critical action now. This Manifesto for the North sets out the direction that we need to take, and marks the North coming together with one voice to tell the incoming Government what our ambition is for a thriving Northern Powerhouse.

“Our message to all political parties is clear; the North is ready to lead the transformation required for net zero 2050, enhanced productivity and a truly inclusive Great Britain. We stand united as a region. For the benefit of our future of generations, we ask the next government, and politicians of all political persuasions to work with us and ensure this plan is every success that it deserves to be.”