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Mace signs up to former chancellor George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Former chancellor George Osborne has launched a new partnership aimed at promoting the Northern Powerhouse.

Mr Osborne will chair the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, which aims to support the devolution of powers and funds to the northern city regions, the improvement of northern transport links and help create more jobs in the region.

Mace is so far the only construction firm that has signed up to the privately funded not-for-profit group, which will also include Associated British Ports and Barclays.

Mr Osborne said at the launch event today: Chairing this new partnership will now be a major focus of my political energies.

“The Northern Powerhouse is here to stay.”

The organisation’s board will also comprise of business leaders from across the North-east, Yorkshire and the North-west, while there is also expected to be political representation to ensure city leaders have their say.

It will commission specialist research with other organisations to produce information and insight from a pan-northern perspective.

The Northern Powerhouse, coined by Mr Osborne in 2014, was the catch-all term for the government’s plan to boost the the north’s economy and create a collective force of towns and cities that could rival London and the South-east.

MP James Wharton was appointed as minister to oversee the plan for the Northern Powerhouse.

Last month, prime minister Theresa May announced that she would launch “a proper industrial strategy” that would look at national growth, rather than a regional focus solely on the north.

The move was seen by many as a snub to Mr Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse plan, whom she sacked as chancellor and replace with ally Phillip Hammond.

Mr Osborne said: “When I launched the idea of Northern Powerhouse, I said I would work tirelessly with anyone and everyone to make it a reality. But even I have been taken aback by the huge support it’s attracted, across political parties, businesses and communities.

“In the space of just two years, we’ve created powerful new mayors, committed to huge new transport and science projects, and attracted investment from around the world.”

“Chairing this new partnership will now be a major focus of my political energies. The Northern Powerhouse is here to stay.”

Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds said: “New transport infrastructure and connectivity are absolutely vital for boosting growth, improving productivity, opening up opportunity and increasing wellbeing in the North of England.

”Mace has worked on major infrastructure and development schemes in the North for over 20 years, and we have seen first-hand the unrivalled passion, excitement and dedication of local people to turn the Northern Powerhouse from rhetoric to reality.

“The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will be the strong business voice the North needs and an important contributor to the future direction and development of the North of England.

”Our British heritage means that Mace is especially committed to unleashing the North’s full potential.”

Hear more from Mark Reynolds

Mace’s chief executive will be one of the many chief executives addressing this year’s two-day CN Summit.

He will speak on a contractor panel with Bam Nuttall, ISG and Hochtief’s UK leaders.

Click here for more on the CN Summit or reserve your place online.

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