Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry has been handed a new joint ministerial position, which the Government says strengthens its commitment to boosting the region’s economy.

Mr Berry has been given greater oversight and coordination of economic growth through the move, which sees him take on shared responsibilities between the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Government said the expanded role will ensure key policies, such as the £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund and the Northern Powerhouse play key roles in delivering its Modern Industrial Strategy.  

Mr Berry’s appointment comes ahead of the publication of a refreshed Northern Powerhouse Strategy later this year, which brings the Government, businesses and local leaders together to ramp up efforts to rebalance the UK economy.

He said: “At the heart of the Northern Powerhouse is an unshakeable partnership between business, communities and Government. 

“We’re investing more into transport in the North than any other Government in history, and with nearly 50 per cent of the north represented by metro mayors, a Northern Powerhouse economy worth over £339 billion, and now, with an expanded, cross-Governmental ministerial position, that partnership is stronger than ever.

“I’m delighted to accept this new appointment and I’m grateful to the Prime Minister for the unwavering support she has given to the Northern Powerhouse.

“We are on the cusp of a new era for the north with our Modern Industrial Strategy boosting economic growth, supporting advanced manufacturing and creating the right economic conditions to make the Northern Powerhouse one of the most competitive, business-friendly regions not just in the UK but in the world.”

Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said the appointment “cemented its long-term commitment to the Northern Powerhouse”

“In Jake Berry, the Government has a minister who has worked tirelessly with the Metro Mayors and our partners in the public and private sectors to drive growth, investment and job creation throughout the north,” he said.

“As we look to the future – including the Borderlands Growth Deal and the second phase of the Grimsby Town Deal – the Government has an empowered minister ready to roll up their sleeves and deliver for the Northern Powerhouse and local communities across the country.”

Mr Berry’s appointment was also welcomed by Business Secretary, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, adding: “I look forward to working with him on this important agenda, as we work with local leaders across the country on their local Industrial Strategies, helping to build on the strengths of each area to secure their economic future.”