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By Jennifer Sprinks...
By Jennifer Sprinks

The Northern Way has slashed its priorities from 10 to just three in a bid to plug its£30bn productivity gap with the south.

A major review of the project, which has been widely criticised for its lack of achievement (LGC, 24 August 2006) states that from 2008 it must focus on transport, innovation in industry and attracting private sector investment from 2008.

Its remit will shift from delivery to research and analysis to influence growth in the three northern regions. The bulk of the work will be delivered by the regional development agencies.

Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of Sheffield City Council, said the Northern Way's achievements so far had been disappointing.

'The challenge for us with the Northern Way is to give it force and impact as we have got some way to go to match projects such as the Thames Gateway,' he said. 'It is important to make it work.'

The Institute for Public Policy Research North's research fellow Michael Johnson said the project should not be compared with the Thames Gateway. The Northern Way had lacked the investment to deliver projects in all 10 priority areas. 'I think focusing on three objectives gives them an opportunity to do that,' he said.

The final review will be published later this month.

Regeneration & transport

Policy & politics

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