Northern Powerhouse sees huge investment – but what about Yorkshire?

 

In today’s Budget speech, Phillip Hammond set out the government’s plan to invest more in the north of England, although Yorkshire may miss out on much of the funding.

As Hammond vowed to back the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and elected mayors, it emerged half the £1.7bn funding – the Transforming Cities Fund – would go to areas with elected metro mayors.

In the West Midlands, a second devolution deal was in the process of being agreed with mayor Andy Street, including £6m for a housing delivery taskforce and £5m for a training scheme in construction skills.

An additional £250m would also come from the £1.7bn total towards investment in the West Midlands.

There is also a North of Tyne devolution deal on the cards, an area that will benefit from £600m of investment over 30 years. A new mayor will be elected in 2019 with powers over “important economic levers including planning and skills”, said Hammond.

In Greater Manchester, £243m from the Transforming Cities Fund will go towards developing local industrial strategy.

What about Yorkshire?

Yorkshire could miss out on much of the total £1.7bn promised from the fund – after half of the budget has gone towards areas with metro mayors, the rest will be open to competition from other cities in England.

Henri Murison, director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “It is disappointing that Leeds City region and Sheffield City region will not receive a guaranteed allocation from the government cities transport fund.

“I hope these city regions will be successful in the bidding process, with Birmingham’s tram extension an example of the scale of ambition we must have for Yorkshire cities networks.”

Chris Hearld, KPMG’s North region chair, said: “Once again the people of Yorkshire are left counting the cost of their region not being able to get its devolution act together. Being left to compete for its share of investment against the rest of the UK must surely increase the risk of it becoming a straggler in the race for economic growth.”

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Northern Powerhouse sees huge investment – but what about Yorkshire?

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