COMMUNITY leaders have praised the call by The Mail and rival publishers for Britain’s main political parties to commit to turbo-charging the North’s economy.

The Mail – along with other newspapers and websites from across the North – published an open letter to the next Prime Minister calling on politicians to spell out what they intend to do to narrow the North-South divide.

This new Power Up The North collaboration is demanding formal backing to the Northern Powerhouse policy agenda to “reverse decades of under-investment in key services”.

It wants to see detailed plans from all major parties on a bespoke Industrial Strategy for the North of England and Transport for the North to be given full policy and financial powers to “overhaul” the region’s road and rail network, including making Northern Powerhouse Rail a national priority.

Extra investment in the region’s colleges and universities to boost skills training; a programme of build a new generation of social housing, and affordable homes and accelerated investment in digital infrastructure are also on the list.

So too is devolution in Cumbria “so more decisions are taken locally”, the delivery of The Borderlands Growth Deal and the prospects for a new nuclear power plant at Moorside in West Cumbria after the initial £15 billion project’s dramatic collapse last year.

Power Up The North was backed by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.

He said: “This failing Conservative government is drastically out of touch with people’s lives.

“With so much wealth and power hoarded by a privileged few in London and the South East it is no surprise that people feel angry and ignored.

“Labour will reverse years of chronic underfunding in the North by investing in communities, upgrading infrastructure, including Crossrail for the North, and bringing good jobs to town and cities held back by the Tories.”

Independent MP for Barrow and Furness, John Woodcock said: "It’s great to see that The Mail has joined forces with newspapers across the north to take part of this campaign.

"I am sure Mail readers will want to back this to the hilt.

“The new will Prime Minister have a mammoth task ahead of them, but they must use this moment as an opportunity to deliver much needed investment to the north which has been left to languish by national governments for too long.

“Last year we saw chaos on our railways, chronic logjams on the A590 and every week it seems like another business is closing its doors to Barrow shoppers.

"The next PM must do all they can to address this imbalance and provide real solutions to give the north the boost it needs.”

Power Up The North is aiming for a similar response from the Government after a similar campaign named One North, successfully compelled the Government to take immediate action on behalf of the millions of passengers who suffered unnecessary and unforeseen travel misery following a new timetable from operator Northern.

It also wants to hear plans from all political parties on its approach to Brexit, HS2 and key public services, like the NHS, social care, education and policing.

Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, said: “At a time of unprecedented political turbulence and uncertainty, the fundamental challenge of rebalancing our economy is being held back by Whitehall despite the unqualified backing of our business leaders and the benefits it will bring in driving forward the North’s ambitions to benefit future generations,” he said.

“Closing the economic divides between North and South is vital to ensure we can make this a fairer country, raise productivity and meet the challenge of remaining globally competitive.

“The North has to come together to speak as one and the message couldn’t be clearer; commit to a clear package of policy measures, so the Northern Powerhouse can be even greater than it was in the past.”

“Now Britain’s major parties and aspiring premiers are duty-bound to confirm whether or not they share One North’s aims, objectives and vision for a prosperous and fairer future for everyone who lives and works here – or will continue to put London and the South’s interests first,” the campaign letter read.

“We – and our partners – remain committed to speaking up for our readers.”

The letter was published on the same day as the deadline for nominations for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

Penrith and the Border MP, Rory Stewart is set to be among the hopefuls.