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Chancellor meets Northern Powerhouse metro mayors

Philip hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond has met three metro mayors to discuss boosting productivity across the north of England.

Hammond met Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen yesterday.

Ministers will “shortly be announcing further funding” to approve northern roads in a bid to tackle the productivity gap between the North of England and the rest of the country.

The three areas have a combined population of 5M and a combined economy worth more than £102bn.

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.”

The chancellor visited the Ordsall Chord rail link which will connect Manchester’s three main train stations and provide direct-links to the city’s airport.

He then travelled to Leeds to see the Seacroft development, where up to 700 homes are being built.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Substantial work has been undertaken in developing the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and ‘Midlands Engine’ concepts, and we believe the successful implementation of both will be fundamental to securing post-Brexit growth.

“In the shorter term, we would particularly like to see the rapid acceleration of the ‘High Speed North’ plan including the A1, A66, and A69 upgrades.”

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