THIRSK MP Kevin Hollinrake is optimistic about Boris Johnson's commitment to 'inject some pace' into the Northern Powerhouse plan.

And Mr Hollinrake has pledged to do everything he can to ensure it remains a priority and promised to work closely with ministers to make sure it is delivered.

He said “There is now a feeling of real optimism here in the North that we can start to reverse the decline in some of our northern cities and towns and provide the jobs and future that our young people deserve.

"It is absolutely fantastic that Mr Johnson chose to come to the North, within days of taking office, to declare his commitment to improving rail and bus transport, broadband connectivity, local accountability through directly elected mayors and the prospects of the millions of people who choose to live in our smaller towns, coastal and rural areas.

"This is something I have been campaigning hard for and it is clear that the new Prime Minister means business.”

Mr Hollinrake welcomed other key pledges from Mr Johnson which include a £3.6 billion fund to support 100 towns for better transport, broadband connectivity, parks, libraries and the arts.

Other pledges include the creation of free ports with tax free regimes and the promise to transform local bus services with higher frequency and lower emission buses.

Mr Hollinrake said “All these improvements will make a huge difference to people living and working in my constituency, especially in rural locations, who will be able to move around the North, either for business or private reasons, much more easily and will certainly give young people the opportunity to take their skills, for example in IT, from one city to another making it much more likely that they will settle in the North.

Mr Hollinrake said he would be keeping up a dialogue with the Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry MP, over the summer and would be pursuing it again in Parliament from September when the House returns.