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LEPs form new body to support Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse business summit took place in Newcastle

Jake Berry, minister of the Northern Powerhouse, has announced that local enterprise partnerships in the North of England will form a new body to support government plans for the Northern Powerhouse across the region.

The chairs of 11 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) will sit on a newly formed government-funded board called ‘NP11’.

Christine Gaskell, chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, who takes the role of vice-chair of the NP11, said: “The NP11 will serve as a strong, coherent regional voice with national government about the exciting potential of an innovation-led economy for the North.”

The board said it would act as one voice representing each of the regions advising the government on issues such as how to increase productivity, overcome regional disparities in economic growth and tackle the historic North-South divide.

Berry spoke at the Northern Powerhouse business summit in Newcastle and said: “For the first time since 1472, we will bring together the business voices of the Northern Powerhouse in our council for the North.

He added: “Together, we will deliver a north of England which is an economic powerhouse and one which can proudly take its place on the world stage both now and as we leave the EU.”

Business secretary Greg Clark, and the Bank of England governor Mark Carney, offered their support for Northern Powerhouse at the three-day summit in Newcastle upon Tyne.

They backed a Brexit that supported Northern businesses, and small firms in the North East, which could provide a growing and fairer global economy.

The three-day summit was the first event of its kind ever to be held by the government.

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