JEREMY Corbyn has promised an environmentally-friendly industrial revolution as part of a multi-billion pound programme to tackle the North-South economic divide.

Writing exclusively for The Northern Echo ahead of Durham Miner’s Gala, the Labour Party leader said his Government would launch a record investment blitz, creating 400,000 jobs.

Mr Corbyn, who is speaking at The 135th Big Meeting in Durham on Saturday afternoon, threw his weight behind the newspaper’s Power Up The North campaign to turbo-charge the north’s economy.

He said: “Labour will superpower a new industrial revolution for the north with a record investment blitz.

“Where the mines fuelled the first Industrial Revolution, renewable energy will deliver Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution and 400,000 new jobs.”

Mr Corbyn said the North Sea, off the coast of Hull, will be the biggest offshore windfarm in the world, generating enough power for a million homes, with engineering firms like Siemens creating the wind turbines.

He said: “To encourage more of these high-skill, well paid and secure jobs, and boost growth across the north, Labour will establish a National Investment Bank supported by Regional Development Banks so investment gets to where it’s needed.

“As our Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a proud northerner, revealed last week, Labour’s £250billion National Transformation Fund to improve our transport, energy and digital infrastructure won’t be based in London and managed by Westminster mandarins.

“It’ll be based in the north, working with mayors and local representatives so it can be more receptive and responsive to the needs of northerners.

“To improve growth and connectivity across the north we’ll not only deliver Crossrail for the north, providing faster train travel between our great northern cities.”

Mr Corbyn, who promised to abolish university tuition fees at the last General Election, said: “New jobs in the north will require new skills, and Labour’s National Education Service will provide free life-long learning, allowing people to retrain throughout their lives, and we’ll fully fund our schools.

“People in the north will see a massive programme of house building, including council houses.”

The Miner’s Gala, which dates back to 1871, attracts up to 200,000 people and is one of the largest socialist gatherings in Europe.

Mr Corbyn, 70, will be joined on stage at Durham Racecourse by several speakers, including North-West Durham MP Laura Pidcock, Unite leader Len McCluskey and shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti.

He said: “As the miners in the first Industrial Revolution were given shovels and axes to dig for coal, Labour will give the North the tools and support it needs so you can deliver your future.

“The choice at the next General Election will be stark.

“A Johnson-led Tory Government that will slash taxes for the richest and pursue a reckless no-deal Brexit that will hammer jobs and economic prospects in the north.

“Or a Labour Government that will deliver the real change you need, and provide billions of pounds of investment so you can genuinely Power Up The North.”