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Northern Powerhouse Cash Boost
by Kevin Cook

The Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub reports that the Government is to announce a £556m cash boost for the Northern Powerhouse at a regional Cabinet meeting in the North West, with £327.7m funding for the region to create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

The Northern Powerhouse money will be awarded via the Local Growth Fund while North West will receive £327.7m, in addition to the £1.2bn the region has already been awarded.

That funding will support a number of key projects in the region including £10m for the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund to provide capital to local small and medium businesses, driving the growth of innovative young life sciences businesses.
Projects that will benefit include a terminal linking rail, sea and road at Goole, a 21st century conference centre in Blackpool and a new innovation fund for Manchester and Cheshire businesses.

In its Green Paper, Building our Industrial Strategy, the government outlines 10 key pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12-week consultation period, inviting contributions from industries, businesses, local groups and workers across the North West.

The pillars cover a broad range of themes including ‘skills’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘affordable energy and clean growth’, with the Green Paper proposing a series of announcements for each.

The Strategy will propose plans for ‘driving growth across the country’, with a framework to build on local strengths and reduce regional disparities in opportunities and prosperity.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “This is an important step in building a modern, dynamic industrial strategy that will improve living standards and drive economic growth across the whole country.

“A modern British industrial strategy must build on the UK’s strengths and extend excellence into the future; close the gap between the UK’s most productive companies, industries, places and people and the rest; and ensure we are one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a business.”

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