Frustration has broken out in the business community over the lack of Government action on the Northern Powerhouse.
Small businesses in the North East are calling for increased infrastructure investment, more effective integration of public bodies and the creation of a Council of the North in a new report urging accelerated delivery of the Northern Powerhouse.
The call from members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) follows anger over the downgrading of a major Northern rail project in the summer and comes as one of the architects of the Northern Powerhouse urged Prime Minister Theresa May to show proper commitment to the project.
FSB North East chairman Ted Salmon said it was “hard to find concrete manifestations” of the Northern Powerhouse three years from it being launched by then Chancellor George Osborne.
And he said the Government needed to urgently commit to replacing the EU funding that had done so much to help businesses in the North East create jobs in recent years or the Northern Powerhouse would not exist.
He said: “Three years on from the first mention of the Northern Powerhouse and it’s still hard to find concrete manifestations of it. With a week to go until the Budget, we’d like to see the Chancellor take some meaningful steps towards getting the show on the road.
“We need cast iron guarantees about EU funding post-Brexit….