George Osborne has launched a think tank to maintain momentum behind the Northern Powerhouse, after admitting the agenda has suffered a recent ‘wobble’.
The former chancellor will chair the Northern Powerhouse Partnership as it commissions research on the policy, co-ordinates local leaders in the North of England and supports new elected metro mayors.
Osborne returns to the Powerhouse project
Mr Osborne told the BBC’s Today Programme the agenda had suffered from uncertainty following the appointment of prime minister Theresa May.
‘Let's be honest, there was a little bit of a wobble when we had the new administration as to whether they were still committed to the concept of the Northern Powerhouse,’ he told the BBC Today Programme.
However communities secretary Sajid Javid said the Government recognised ‘the huge untapped potential of our great northern towns and cities’.
Mr Javid said: ‘That is why I warmly welcome the launch of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. I hope it will become an important part of the debate and help us to do all we can to further boost jobs, growth and opportunities in the north of England.’
The privately-funding partnership will work with city leaders from across the North and provide support to newly formed combined authorities.
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: ‘The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will help provide the insight and evidence base to drive the initiative forwards.
‘The uncertainty following the Brexit vote in the EU referendum makes economic stability, confidence and support for strategic commitments such as the Northern Powerhouse more important than ever.’