A THINK-TANK will today call on Boris Johnson to demonstrate his commitment to “Power up the North” by backing a plan to devolve power to the region.

Following the Prime Minister's speech on Saturday in which he pledged to fund Northern Powerhouse Rail, IPPR North will today publish a blueprint that sets out how the North can lead the Northern Powerhouse agenda into a new phase by developing a Northern Industrial Strategy, taking control of specific economic powers and working towards a Council of the North.

In the report, researchers say the North has shown great potential and the region has seen strong jobs growth in key sectors of high-tech manufacturing.

But the North must take control of its economy to tackle future challenges like the climate crisis, automation, and an ageing population – while Brexit threatens to hit the North twice as hard as London, according to the report.

IPPR North said central government has “failed the North” while in other countries devolved power has helped similar regions to thrive.

They say central government has boosted productivity in London and the South East while holding regions like the North back

Report author Luke Raikes, a senior research fellow at IPPR North,said: "This country has endured centralised economic policy for decades. Central government has failed the North, and it has failed people across the country – even in our booming but poverty-stricken capital.

“All our regional economies are broken in their own way, and both Londoners and Northerners have paid the price for this missed opportunity.

“But there is a better way. Now is the time to change. The new Prime Minister must urgently deliver on his promises, seize this opportunity to set right a historic wrong and devolve power to the leaders of the North so that they can take charge of the Northern economy".

On Saturday, Mr Johnson used a speech in Manchester to give his backing to the trans-Pennine transport link which is intended to help “turbo charge” regional growth.

Last month, The Northern Echo joined the region’s publishers in calling for investment in the region under the Power up the North campaign.