Sheffield business chamber back northern transport plan

Richard Wright of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce
Richard Wright of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce
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Business leaders in Sheffield have backed £15 billion plans to connect northern cities with new transport and infrastructure.

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce is one of six regional chambers that have written a letter to Chancellor George Osborne saying they welcome the One North plan.

The 15-year proposals say better rail and road links are needed to develop the north and allow it to compete with the rest of the world and London.

Executive director Richard Wright said: “The north of England contains substantial business and economic assets that should be maximised for the benefit of the whole of UK, including Sheffield’s world leading expertise in advanced materials and the fact that more than a quarter of UK manufacturers are based in the north.

“But our infrastructure has been under-developed for decades and addressing this is essential to achieve economic rebalancing and create the ‘northern powerhouse’ the Government has spoken of.

“We expect the strategy to be given a high priority by local authorities and the Government with the chambers ready to play a part in articulating business views on proposals and helping to develop projects further.”

Mr Osborne is expected to release details of the One North project in his autumn statement next week.

It is expected to tie in with the high-speed HS2 rail link proposals.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region local enterprise partnership, said: “One North sets out plans to rebalance the national economy.

“The Sheffield City Region’s involvement will ensure our economy continues to play a central part in the revitalisation of the north.

“HS2 and better transport connectivity, particularly with Manchester, is a key part of our strategic economic plan aiming to create 70,000 new private sector jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next ten years.”