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MPs to investigate if the North is getting a fair deal

A parliamentary select committee is to kick off a new inquiry by asking if the North is getting a fair deal in terms of investment and economic growth.

The cross-party business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee starts an inquiry into investment and growth across the UK with a special hearing on 3 July, concentrating on the North.

Among those due to appear are the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Dr Henri Murison and the chief operating office of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, James Farrar.

The session will look at how businesses attract finance and investment, the role of EU structural funds in supporting regional growth, and the likely effectiveness of new government measures, such as the Stronger Towns Fund and Shared Prosperity Fund, in providing support for growth in the north.

Future sessions, will examine similar issues in different regions.

Earlier this month, the treasury select committee launched a separate inquiry, which will look at the nature of regional imbalances and whether official regional economic forecasts should be produced.

‘Five years on from establishing the Northern Powerhouse, the time is right to carry out a health-check on the Government’s efforts to attract finance and investment to the North,’ said BEIS committee chair, Rachel Reeves.

‘The government’s industrial strategy needs to go beyond big ideas and help turbocharge productivity and growth throughout the UK. The Power Up the North campaign has shone a light on the urgency of addressing the north-south divide and the need to get on with the policies and actions to truly capitalise on the talents of the people across the north.

‘In our inquiry kicking off on Wednesday, we want to hold the government’s feet to the fire on what they are doing to help business investment in all parts of the UK.  What happens when the EU structural funds dry up? Will the government make good on their commitment to investing throughout the UK?

‘As a committee, we will be examining in this inquiry the effectiveness of the government’s policies on business investment and how far they are going to help drive the gains in productivity and growth we need to see throughout the country,’ added Reeves.

Photo by derwiki (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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