asked Her Majesty's Government:
In what ways the recent changes in departmental responsibilities will affect the scope, policy objectives and management arrangements for the Northern Way initiative; which Ministers are now responsible for the Northern Way; and whether they will make any announcements later this year in relation to the Northern Way.[HL6439]
As the Northern Way is an independent initiative by the three northern regional development agencies, the creation of the Department for Communities and Local Government will not affect its policy objectives and management arrangements, as they are a matter for the Northern Way itself. The department will continue to co-ordinate Government’s engagement with it.
My right honourable and honourable friends, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Minister for Housing and Planning, pay close attention to the Northern Way and Government’s engagement with it, and are regularly updated on its progress.
The Northern Way is an independent pan-regional growth strategy taken forward by the three northern regional development agencies and their partners. The Northern Way is not just about money; it is about the added value that a pan-regional strategy can bring to the north.
A £100 million Northern Way Growth Fund, match-funded 50:50 by the three regional development agencies and the Department for Communities and Local Government, was established in 2005-06 to kick start the strategy. The Northern Way business plan for 2005-08, published in June 2005, sets out how it will spend the growth fund, providing a work programme for each of its investment priorities. The Northern Way will shortly be publishing its annual report, including a report on the money spent to date and its budget for 2006-07.