Northern papers join to announce 'Manifesto for the North' ahead of general election

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Northern news titles from Reach, JPI and Newsquest publish the ‘Manifesto for the North’ today, calling for an end to the economic neglect of the North at the upcoming general election.

The first of its kind manifesto will be presented to the Conservatives, Labour Party, and Liberal Democrats as a unified vision for how the North’s full potential can be "unleashed".

Support of the manifesto from these three media publishers follows their previous collaboration on the Power Up the North campaign and their criticism of Northern Rail services. 

    Nigel Burton, Group Editor at Newsquest, said: “All the people of the North have ever asked for is a level playing field but successive governments have paid lip service to the region and carried on pouring cash and resources into London and the South-East.

    "We support this manifesto as a common-sense blueprint for regional prosperity. Give us a chance to show the rest of the country, and the world, what the North unleashed can really achieve.”

    The manifesto will run across the front pages of numerous JPI papers, Reach titles including Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Newcastle Chronicle, Teesside Gazette, Huddersfield Examiner and Hull Daily Mail, as well as news sites LancsLive and LeedsLive, and Newsquest titles Bradford Telegraph & Argus and The York Press.

    Neil Hodgkinson, Reach Regionals Editor-in-Chief for the North East, Humber and Lincoln added: “This is an opportune moment to remind those in national politics that the needs of the North are ignored at their peril; that they need to listen and not lecture and that there is more to life than Brexit - a point many of them may find surprising!”

      The notion to put together such a manifesto was something that came out of September's Convention for the North with NP11 event in Rotherham.  

      NP11 is a group of all 11 Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships representing the North’s business drive to influence major policy changes across a range of areas, from skills and education, to housing, transport, innovation, trade and investment, and clean growth.

      The five key focuses of the manifesto are:

      • Local control of education, training and skills
      • A formal Treasury commitment to rebalance the North/South economy
      • A transport budget for the North to deliver on all key objectives
      • Freedom to lead export growth with greater investment
      • Backing the North to lead the green industrial revolution 

      Roger Marsh OBE, 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."

      Nick Forbes, Chair of the Convention and leader of Newcastle City Council, added: “Our North is one made up of many different and distinct places, but by working together like this we have shown we are a powerful region which is prepared to speak with a one voice and do what is needed to create opportunity for the future.

      “We are united in our shared belief that the North is central to the rebuilding of the UK. By coming together on a cross-geography and cross-party basis we have proven that our ambition for our communities transcends traditional boundaries."

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