16 Jul The Northern Powerhouse
In the Summer Budget, the Chancellor stressed the importance of building the Northern Powerhouse. The Northern Powerhouse was a key economic proposal of the previous coalition Government and has continued to be a key focus of the new conservative Government. The intention is to push economic growth in the North of England by building strong city regions including devolution deals with Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield. If agreement can be reached, these cities will have significant new powers to support economic growth.
There is also a strong focus on improving transport links and helping push economic growth in areas outside London and the South East. The Chancellor announced on a recent visit to the north of England that the Government is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities to secure fresh funding for small businesses in the north from EU Regional Funds, which would be made available for northern SMEs later this year. The new funding would come on top of £382.5m already being invested in the region through an existing similar scheme that provides equity and loan finance to start-ups, growing early stage companies and larger companies.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:
'Small business are the lifeblood of the Northern Powerhouse and this funding has the potential to make an enormous difference to hundreds of SMEs right across the north.'