NORTHERN business and elected leaders have published a Manifesto for the North which sets out a bold new vision for the North of England and requirements of a new Government to help power up the North.

The first of its kind, the 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.

Five policy ‘game changers’ outline the North’s ambitions for clean growth, devolution, transport, education, investment and trade.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Northern leaders are resolute in our determination to build a better North.

"We are making a clear case to government that the success of the country is dependent on them investing more in the North.

"For the first time we are coming together to set out our plans. All Northern leaders are united.

"Better transport infrastructure is vital - Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 must be delivered in full.

"Bradford is fortunate in being right at the heart of the North. Our talented people and our unique potential as the UK’s youngest city means that we are key to the region's success. So it’s essential that there is a Bradford city centre stop on Northern Powerhouse Rail between Manchester and Leeds.

"This would be transformational as part of our ambitious vision for the district and add £15 billion GVA [Gross Value Added] to the Northern economy.”

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 including the Leeds City Region LEP that covers Bradford - representing the North’s business drive and collective political will to influence major changes across a range of areas, from skills and education, to housing, transport, innovation, trade and investment, and clean growth.

It has been born out of the Convention for the North with NP11 event, which took place in Rotherham in September 2019. Hundreds of people of all ages and from across the North attended the convention – the largest gathering of its kind. Business leaders, education providers, politicians, youth groups and charities, came together to discuss and debate the key policy priorities that will enable a prosperous Northern economy.

Following a year that has seen the largest coordinated action on climate change to date, political and business leaders across the North of England have today backed the five-point manifesto which seeks to enable the North to lead a green industrial revolution and address the over-centralisation of the UK economy.

The game changing ideas pledged for the North are:

1. Local control of education and training, skills provision that is systematically connected to the North’s businesses and growth needs, creating opportunity for all our people.

2. A commitment to rebalancing the economy as a formal HM Treasury objective, delivering transformational investment to power up the North, a formal commitment to rebalancing in the Green Book, and Office for Budget Responsibility measurement of progress towards this objective.

3. A transport budget for the North, enabling full delivery of the Transport for the North plan and supporting the devolution of control and shared accountability for the region’s rail network.

4. Ownership of, and freedom to lead, investment and trade activities to drive export led growth, with a greater scale of investment to level up the North’s export and inward investment activities.

5. 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.