A major summit to discuss Cross Rail North and wider transport investment for the Northern Powerhouse will be held in Leeds on the 23rd August.

Business organisations from Newcastle to Liverpool are being urged to attend an event that will be addressed by business leaders, the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram, and the leaders of Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester councils.

Downtown in Business is co-ordinating the summit, called following the governments announcement that Cross Rail North will not be funded.

DIB Chief Executive Frank McKenna explained:

‘When I heard the news I contacted Andy Burnham to see what business could do to help reverse this incredibly poor, shortsighted decision.

‘Andy and I thought a summit involving key business leaders and politicians from right across the north would offer the opportunity for us to demonstrate to the government the strength of feeling there is over the Cross Rail North announcement. I am delighted that the other political leaders from across the north have backed the initiative.

McKenna added:

‘I am incredibly disappointed that a government committed to economic and business growth can believe that continuing with a policy of modern twenty first century infrastructure investment for London, whilst leaving the north to deal with antiquated rail connectivity and facilities makes any sense.

‘How can northern businesses increase productivity, retain our best young talent, and compete not just with our global competitors, but our London counterparts with one arm tied behind our backs?

‘Anyone who believes that the UK is best served by an over reliance on our capital city, with our core cities being treated as second class conurbations has learned nothing from the past.’

The summit will bring together private sector partners from a range of business groups including Downtown in Business, the Northern Business Improvement Districts, Chambers of Commerce, the FSB, and the IoD.

If you are interested in attending this invite only event please email teleri.davies@downtowninbusiness.com