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Economy Economy

Continue investment in the Northern Powerhouse Rail project

Last updated: 01:35pm 5 November 2019

We will continue our programme of strategic national investments, including […] Northern Powerhouse Rail…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.23

Our verdict

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) is a proposed rail network programme developed in December 2017 to improve connectivity in the North. It is expected to reduce travel time between the six major city regions, Newcastle, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as Manchester Airport. It aims to bring new opportunities to businesses and individuals, and to rebalance the UK economy. This policy is a promise to keep investing in the programme.

In July 2018, the National Infrastructure Commission, as a result of the first National Infrastructure Assessment, listed Northern Powerhouse Rail as a priority project, recommending financial backing from government.

In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the government confirmed that £37 million of development funding would be made available for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

In February 2019, Transport for the North outlined the case for NPR, recommending the government invest up to £39 billion in the project. Transport for the North is expected to publish a comprehensive business case outline covering impact, planning, affordability and deliverability.

In September 2019, the government published its Spending Round, indicating that it will continue to support NPR by pushing ahead with work on the Leeds to Manchester route.

Following mentions and investment commitments in the 2018 and 2019 Spending Reviews, we can see the government supporting the development of NPR. We consider this policy ‘done’. To stay informed about progress towards completion of NPR, follow this policy for updates.

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