Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'People Clearly Felt That the System Wasn't Delivering for them.The Answer to That Is to Make Sure It Does'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'People Clearly Felt That the System Wasn't Delivering for them.The Answer to That Is to Make Sure It Does'

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Whitfield Business editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk @Graemewhitfield

FORMER Chancellor George Osborne believes his Northern Powerhouse project still has the ability to transform the North East and says it will be needed more than ever after the vote to leave the EU.

Mr Osborne was in Newcastle yesterday in his new role as chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a think tank he formed in an attempt to keep the project at the top of the political agenda.

He met civic and business leaders on Tyneside before touring the new Science Central site on the edge of the city centre and seeing plans for Newcastle University's Urban Sciences centre.

He said the meeting had provided ideas to get the North East working more closely with other parts of the North, and acknowledged concerns that many people in the North East felt the Powerhouse initiative was not benefitting their communities.

Mr Osborne, whose Tatton constituency is close to Manchester, said his Northern Powerhouse work had been helped by a number of Labour council leaders in the region.

He went on to express his optimism that a devolution deal for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland could still go ahead after the collapse of the process in the wider North East.

He also acknowledged that the campaign to remain in the European Union had failed particularly in the North East, which backed Brexit as a region by one of the largest margins in Europe.

"The campaign was not good enough," he said.

"What I'm trying to do now I'm not in Government, I want to listen and learn and understand why it is that communities didn't want to work with other countries in the EU.

"We are leaving the EU and I want to make sure the economic cost of that is kept to a minimum.

"There will be an economic impact. …

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