Making a Difference 2020

The Yorkshire Post - Power up the North

The Power Up The North campaign is a collaboration between regional news brands in the north of England. Timed to coincide with the commencement of the leadership battle for No 10 Downing St, it called for an end to the interminable widening of the divide between the north and south in England.

Some of the campaigns main asks included: A commitment to a bespoke Industrial Strategy for the North; a fully funded, new, integrated approach to connecting the city regions of the north; Northern Powerhouse Rail slated as a national priority; and the acceleration of decision-making out of London, properly devolved to the regions.

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The titles that took part have a combined monthly reach of 9.25 million people. That's two thirds of the north's 15 million population.

The campaign garnered national coverage across broadcast and print media. Forty eight hours after Power Up The North launched, the campaign called on the Government to show its commitment to the region by making the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse a Cabinet position.

Writing in the Yorkshire Post, editor James Mitchison said: “It feels somewhat ironic that Power Up The North should be recognised as the campaign to have made the most difference in the week when northern leaders were left in the sidings as the government briefed its favoured London media about planned lockdown restrictions destined for the North.”

“On more than one occasion I have received compliments on the campaign and the subsequent shift in political rhetoric – Levelling Up Agenda – that it catalysed but it is quite clear that there remains so much work still to do if we are to make a real difference.”

“It is clear to me that until we have a fully fledged Ministry for the North, in the North, led by a Cabinet Minister, we will continue to be marginalised and stereotyped by policy makers as a post-industrial wasteland.”