The Exchequer Secretary, Simon Clarke MP, today heads to the Greater Manchester region to kick off a nationwide tour where he will pledge the Treasury’s unflinching support to revitalising left-behind areas so they enjoy the opportunities ahead as the UK leaves the EU.
The Minister visits Bolton, Farnworth and Astley to see how devolution is delivering for people outside of the major cities in the region and explore how the new £3.6 billion Towns Fund can further help secure a bright future. He will discuss with local leaders how the Treasury has placed support for the Northern Powerhouse project as one of its core objectives, backed up in recent weeks through the focus on transport, crime and health investment across the North.
He will also visit Manchester to meet metro mayor, Andy Burnham, to talk about ways of delivering on the region’s devolution deals, and driving growth and public service reform.
In Astley, the Minister will see the first new cycling route in Greater Manchester’s ‘Bee Network’ which has been achieved through £312.5 million from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund. In Bolton, he will see a newly refurbished bus station, while in Farnworth he will visit the local high street which is shortlisted to receive new government funding.
Last week, the Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged a step change in infrastructure investment right across the country – so that every corner of the UK can thrive. The Chancellor committed the Treasury to publishing a landmark National Infrastructure Strategy in the Autumn setting out long-term priorities.
Speaking ahead of the trip, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, said:
The Prime Minister was clear that we want to see success spread across not just our big cities but our towns and rural areas – and it is our priority to support regional growth and prosperity to maximise the potential of places like Bolton, Farnworth and Astley as we leave the EU. As a Northern MP, I know the hunger that exists to change how people view our region – and indeed how we view ourselves and our future.
Here at the Treasury we will play our part by ensuring Britain gets the world-class infrastructure it needs to boost productivity, growth and quality of life, and I look forward to hearing people’s views. We want every corner of our great nation to thrive, and will deliver a step change in infrastructure investment across the country.
The Northern Powerhouse – from its bustling, diverse cities, to culturally and industrially rich towns and regions – has our full support and we won’t rest until we have levelled out opportunities and unlocked the potential of every part of the UK.