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Chancellor: Government will Focus on Northern Powerhouse & Midlands Engine

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Philip Hammond reaffirmed the government’s commitment to investing in the Midlands and the North.

Northern Powerhouse & Midlands Engine Remain Government Priority

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Philip Hammond reaffirmed the government’s commitment to investing in the Midlands and the North.

The chancellor stated that the Northern Powerhouse initiative must continue, as well as introducing a similar approach for the Midlands – referred to as The Midlands Engine.


Addressing the Brexit vote, Mr Hammond said: ‘One of the key messages of the referendum campaign was that large parts of our country feel left behind.’


He stated that: ‘A key part of this agenda is harnessing the economic power of our cities. The Northern Powerhouse project takes a visionary approach … linking the great cities of the north into a coherent economic entity.’


One of the main focuses of his predecessor, George Osborne, the chancellor’s comments on the Northern Powerhouse echo those from Prime Minister Theresa May last month, where she said that the ‘whole machinery of government’ will support growth in the North.


Taking place in Birmingham, Mr Hammond also used the conference to launch his new Midlands Engine initiative.


Highlighting the region’s £220 billion of Added Value for the economy and its responsibility for more than a fifth of UK manufacturing output, the chancellor announced his intentions to launch a new ‘Long Term Economic plan for the Midlands’.


In spite of these figures, Mr Hammond addressed the fact that ‘both productivity and economic growth have lagged behind the UK average’, with the new plan due to address these issues.


The recommitment to the region follows the continued planning for new infrastructure projects such as HS2 high speed rail line, which will cut down journey times between London, the Midlands and the North, and was given first stage approval by MPs earlier this year.