My message to the Chancellor – this Budget needs to empower the North to drive prosperity for all

by Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region

An affordable, reliable and environmentally-friendly transport system, made fit for the 21st century with Transforming Cities funding.

An education system that ensures all young people achieve their potential and provides people with the skills to succeed -whatever their background.

Businesses that innovate, create jobs and create economic growth.

These things are crucial to driving prosperity for Yorkshire’s communities. And that’s why I’ve called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to prove through Monday’s Budget that the Government is committed to rebalancing our country’s economy.

Here in the Sheffield City Region, we’re experiencing a renaissance in advanced manufacturing and engineering. Just this week I opened Boeing’s first production facility in Europe, and in November we’ll see another clear sign of investor confidence, when McLaren opens its new centre.

But to continue this growth story, we need Government to play its part. That’s why I’ve called on Philip Hammond to use his Budget to give the green light to short-term, deliverable schemes in the Sheffield City Region.

The first is an East Coast Mainline station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. If we want to tackle national aviation capacity issues, unlock significant economic growth and deliver our Global Innovation Corridor vision then national rail links to the airport are crucial. And, unlike Heathrow, it can happen quickly.

Two other projects that should be urgently prioritised are delivering the agreed funding for the upgrade of the Hope Valley railway line between Sheffield and Manchester, and committing to renew Supertram from 2024.

The South Yorkshire Futures programme, led by Sheffield Hallam University, is helping to create the best early years system in the country. That’s why I’ve asked the Government to secure the long-term sustainability of this programme, as well as unlocking the Early Intervention Employment Support pilot for jobseekers, which is currently stalled.

Finally, I’ve pushed Government to respond to our bid to the Strength in Places Fund. We’ve submitted a detailed proposal seeking funding to supercharge our most innovative businesses with cutting-edge research to help them grow. An indication of our bid’s success would enable us to start work.

The Chancellor must not miss the opportunity to show people in the Sheffield City Region and Yorkshire that this is a Government that listens. A Government that is committed to rebalancing the north-south divide. A Government that will empower us to use our strengths to grow our economy, create jobs and drive prosperity for all.

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