Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to boost regional investment well beyond London and the south east after the triumph of the general Tories elections in former job centers. Ministers are also believed to be planning new government agencies based in the North and Midlands and are considering a proposal to split Northern Rail into a Northeast and Northwest franchise. Last week Javid met with Tory deputies from the northern constituencies to discuss how his February budget can boost the regions.
Treasury officials need to focus less on general economic growth and more on improving community well-being and ensuring that spending helps reduce the North-South productivity gap.
Newly elected MP Tory Richard Holden, who kicked out Corbynist frontbench Laura Pidcock in north-west Durham constituency, said: “For too long, talent has been evenly distributed in our country, but the opportunity is not It was. For too long, investment decisions have favored the already wealthy parts of our country.
“The Prime Minister has pledged to help change that and greet the changes that will help offer greater opportunities to the population of North West Durham and the North and Midlands.”
The leading figures of the Northern Powerhouse Inter-party Partnership welcomed the change.
Its vice president, cross-colleague Lord O’Neill, said that the current “accounting-based approach” of the Treasury makes no sense.
He added: “I welcome a change in this approach and hope it is real.
“It would be a huge boost for many investments across the country, as well as across the North Powerhouse.”