The Power Up the North collaboration has been praised for shining a light on the urgent need to boost the region’s economy, as the Government’s commitment to closing the North-South divide is put under scrutiny.

Praise for the collaboration between Newsquest – owners of The Mail – and rival publishers JPI Media and Reach, came from chair of the influential Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Rachel Reeves, as it meets today to examine the Government’s support for business and its efforts to attract inward investment in the North.

The enquiry is being held as the Northern Powerhouse, which is charged with driving the transformation of the Northern economy, marks its five-year anniversary.

Ms Reeves, who is MP for Leeds West, said: “Five years on from establishing the Northern Powerhouse, the time is right to carry out a health-check on the Government’s efforts to attract finance and investment to the North.The Government’s Industrial Strategy needs to go beyond big ideas and help turbocharge productivity and growth throughout the UK.

“The Power Up the North campaign has shone a light on the urgency of addressing the North-South divide and the need to get on with the policies and actions to truly capitalise on the talents of the people across the North.”

The Power Up The North collaboration is calling for drastic action from the Government and all major political parties to “reverse decades of under-investment in key services” in the region, and has received backing from key players in the business and political spheres.

Group editor for Newsquest Cumbria Vanessa Sims welcomed Ms Reeves’ comments and the committee’s inquiry.

“Power Up the North is gathering real momentum and we’re delighted it has received further high-profile praise and recognition,” she said.

“We are passionate about the communities which we both serve and live within, and see the huge potential for our businesses and people to achieve much more, with the right level of Government backing.

“It is crucial this is done properly, and all of us will be watching with interest to see the committee’s findings, and more broadly, what actions will take place to finally close the unacceptable North-South divide.”