THE Northern Powerhouse Minister says the Government's flagship investment scheme for the region "remains a priority" ahead of its five year anniversary.

Jake Berry said the Government is "delivering results for people across the North" and is "keeping our promise" to people in the region.

Outlining the Government's position on the Northern Powerhouse, Mr Berry said:

• Delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail remains a top priority and we’ve committed over £97m towards this pioneering project to ensure the North has one of the fastest, best connected rail networks in Europe.

• We are seeing unprecedented investment in better transport across the North under this Government – £13bn. This includes an upcoming £3bn investment into the Trans-Pennine Route.

• The Government have created Transport for the North, the first statutory regional transport body in the UK. We have given TfN £97m to develop options for Northern Powerhouse Rail. We will continue to work with TfN to deliver NPR as a government priority.

• This Government has committed, in Autumn Budget, to refresh the 2016 Northern Powerhouse Strategy. This new strategy will act as the industrial strategy for the North, focusing all key parts of the Northern economy.

• Since the launch of the Northern Powerhouse in 2014 there have been 1,000 new FDI projects which have created more than 39,000 jobs.

• Almost two thirds of people working in the Northern Powerhouse (62 per cent) are in high-skilled jobs. This has increased by six per cent between 2015 and 2018, which is in line with the England average.

• There’s always more to do which is why the Prime Minister has strengthened the role of the Northern Powerhouse Minister and we’re developing a new Northern Powerhouse Strategy to build on the progress we have made, reaffirm our commitment to Northern communities and empower people to reach their full potential across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse.

• A wide-ranging set of powers has been devolved to four of the northern mayors and their combined authorities (CAs) – including on transport, regeneration, housing and skills – as a result of the devolution deals negotiated with the government. It is for these mayors to ensure they are utilising these powers to deliver growth in their areas. For example, they have the power to designate a mayoral development corporation, which can boost economic growth by creating jobs, building homes, improving skills and making it easier to travel in a specific area, but not all of them have done this yet.

• For government, the priority remains the implementation of the agreed Sheffield City Region deal, which will bring £900 million of investment to the local area over the next 30 years.

Mr Berry said: “Five years on, the Northern Powerhouse remains a priority for the Government and is delivering results for people across the North with a record number of people in work and nearly 200,000 more businesses today than in 2010.

“We’re investing over £13bn in improving transport – more than any Government in history – and, with almost half the region represented by five strong metro Mayors with new powers to stimulate job creation, improve skills, build homes and make it easier to travel, we’re keeping our promise for more decisions in the North to be made by the North.”