Welcome for more power in the north

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Business leaders have welcomed plans for the so-called Northern Powerhouse.

The concept, mentioned in the Queen’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament, is an attempt to redress the north-south economic divide.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

The Government hopes to harness the powers of large northern cities and towns to attract investment into the region. In particular, ministers hope to rebuild a strong manufacturing base in the north as well as developing new industries in the science, technology and service sectors. The news received the backing of business leaders on the Fylde, who believe the Northern Powerhouse plan will revitalise the area.

Chief executive of North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (NWLCC) Babs Murphy said: “Our members have told us they want the Northern Powerhouse to go full steam ahead as the growth of London has seen a disparity between the capital and Lancashire.

“Our recent research shows that there have been reservations about devolution but with Lancashire having one of the biggest economies in the North, it is time for the county to work alongside the rest of the region to bridge the increasing north-south divide. But the Government must ensure this growth is not just centred on core cities and that smaller towns across Lancashire, which make a huge contribution to our economy, can attract investment and benefit from devolved powers.”