Wales politics

Northern Powerhouse 'potentially exciting for Wales'

Motorway sign says "The North" Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption The UK government hopes the Northern Powerhouse can rival the economic might of London

Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart has said she believes the English Northern Powerhouse project is potentially exciting for Wales.

Ms Hart told The Wales Report programme she was certain the Welsh and UK governments would work together for the benefit of the economy.

She said "proper transport links" were needed between the Northern Powerhouse and Wales.

But "getting on with infrastructure improvements ourselves" was important.

She gave the A55 and electrification of the north Wales rail line as examples.

The UK government hopes by putting aside regional rivalries in the north of England and working together to create jobs, back businesses and improve transport links, the area can rival the economic might of London.

Manchester already has power over its health budget and, in 2017, it will be run by an elected mayor with powers over housing, transport, planning and policing.

Ms Hart said companies from north Wales could see the northern cities of England as an opportunity to grow their businesses.

Image copyright Tidal lagoon swansea bay
Image caption Ms Hart said there could be a tidal lagoon industry that benefits south west Wales

She also suggested businesses over the border could be tempted to locate in Wales.

"We must also ensure that if we do have good links across the border to other companies, when they do expand, they might decide to come over the border to expand, because they have had a good experience with us as a government, and a good experience for the people that they are employing," she said.

Ms Hart accepted more could be done to boost the economy in some parts of mid and west Wales but said the government was "dealing with those issues".

She noted how the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone at Milford Haven, in Pembrokeshire, was "trying to make a difference after the loss of Murco" and how a tidal lagoon industry "could benefit south west Wales" if the tidal lagoon becomes reality.

"In terms of Ceredigion and Powys, we have very regular discussions about how we can help their local economies as well," she added.

Related Topics

More on this story