LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the North has suffered from "chronic underfunding" for years on the back of a new campaign aimed at bringing new investment to the region.

Yesterday, The Northern Echo joined forces with rival publishers to challenge Britain’s main political parties to commit to a package of policy measures to turbo-charge the North’s economy.

The Northern Echo:

The campaign has resulted in more than 30 newspapers calling on the main parties – and those who aspire to lead them – to spell out what they intend to do, and how they will work with others, to narrow the North-South divide.

The demands on the Government include a bespoke Industrial Strategy, an overhaul the region’s road and rail network, additional investment for schools, a programme to build a new generation of social housing, and a fundamental shift in decision-making out of London.

Mr Corbyn said: “This failing Conservative government is drastically out of touch with people’s lives.

“With so much wealth and power hoarded by a privileged few in London and the South East it is no surprise that people feel angry and ignored.

“Labour will reverse years of chronic underfunding in the North by investing in communities, upgrading infrastructure, including Crossrail for the North, and bringing good jobs to town and cities held back by the Tories.”

The Northern Echo:

Redcar MP Anna Turley said: "This is a really powerful campaign from our region’s media, speaking with one collective voice, and I’m pleased to add my wholehearted support.

"For too long now the focus has been on London and success in the City, with an expectation that the wave of wealth will spread out across the country and lift up areas like Teesside. But instead industries like steel, our manufacturing, our transport network in the North have been allowed to decline.

"On Teesside through our industry and ingenuity we drove the industrial revolution and built the world. We have proven that when we are given the power and control we can do great things.

"It is time to supercharge devolution and make the Northern Powerhouse really mean something, so that locally we can get to work creating jobs and improving our infrastructure as we know how."

This new Power Up The North collaboration between newspapers and websites from JPI Media, Newsquest and Reach comes exactly one year after the launch of the award-winning One North campaign in the wake of unprecedented chaos on the region’s railways.

The collective voice of the North’s titles compelled the Government to take immediate action on behalf of the millions of passengers who suffered unnecessary and unforeseen travel misery.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: "At a time of unprecedented political turbulence and uncertainty, the fundamental challenge of rebalancing our economy is being held back by Whitehall despite the unqualified backing of our business leaders and the benefits it will bring in driving forward the North’s ambitions to benefit future generations.

“Closing the economic divides between North and South is vital to ensure we can make this a fairer country, raise productivity and meet the challenge of remaining globally competitive.

“The North has to come together to speak as one and the message couldn’t be clearer; commit to a clear package of policy measures, so the Northern Powerhouse can be even greater than it was in the past.”

Yesterday, Conservative Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen joined the campaign's call to "put the region first.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry also voiced his support. He said: "The Power Up The North campaign is exactly what we need - showcasing the North’s great ambition and potential, and what can be achieved with the right support.

"As Northern Powerhouse Minister, I fully back this campaign. What is being called for reflects what I have been working so hard to achieve, and what our new Prime Minister needs to prioritise. That’s why I’m backing Boris Johnson to be our next Prime Minister. Boris recognises the power of regional economies and is passionate about backing the Northern Powerhouse. I know he will deliver for the whole country.”