North-East Conservative MPs are backing calls for the Prime Minister to offer tax breaks as part of plans to deliver on levelling up the country.

Boris Johnson, who was elected on a pledge to create greater economic prospects outside London, is being urged in a new report by a right-leaning think tank to set out a national plan for manufacturing, including tax breaks for factories and extra investment into technology.

A host of Tory MPs from the 2019 ‘red wall’ intake – including Redcar MP Jacob Young and North West Durham MP Richard Holden have given the report their backing. Mr Holden told The Northern Echo: “Across County Durham, manufacturing makes a huge contribution, employing roughly double the number of people than the national average.

“The great recent news about Nissan and Teesside is welcome but to truly level up we need to transform and expand Britain’s manufacturing sector.

“It’s time for Britain to become the next generation workshop of the world and in doing so, we’ll truly level up our cities, towns and villages across the North East of England.”

The Onward group’s Making A Comeback report states that outside the capital, those working in the manufacturing sector tend to earn more than the average employee.

With manufacturing holding a greater percentage of the market in “red wall” seats – areas across the North and Midlands of England, along with North Wales, where the Prime Minister won seats in Labour’s traditional heartlands at the 2019 election – the think tank has called on the Government to invest in the industry to support sustainable wage growth outside the capital.

New analysis in the paper shows that 12.2% of workers in seats gained by the Conservatives at the last general election work in manufacturing, compared with 9.3% in seats they held from the 2017 election and 7.8% among Labour seats.

For regions outside London, productivity is a fifth higher in manufacturing than the wider economy, the report said, with around 40% of productivity growth in the West Midlands, Wales and North West between 1997 and 2017 coming from the sector.

The document – backed by 65 Tory MPs – calls for ministers to set out tax incentives for capital investment, take action to reduce industrial electricity costs, and ensure greater 5G connectivity for smart factories.