MORE weight has been thrown behind The Mail's campaign to "Power Up The North", launched alongside more than 30 leading newspaper across the region.

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.

The campaign has been warmly received by community and leaders and politicians in south Cumbria.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: "It’s great to see newspapers across the North speaking together with one voice about the urgent need for Westminster to invest in the North after decades of neglect.

"In recent times, successive delays have been announced in key northern transport schemes. Linking together the key cities across the North, and improving routes between them and the region’s industrial and coastal towns, is central to economic growth. No government should let it slip further.

"But it’s not just transport infrastructure that’s vital. Under-spending on education has left the region with too many unskilled people living on low pay and marginal jobs.”

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: "The Power Up The North campaign is exactly what we need - showcasing the North’s great ambition and potential, and what can be achieved with the right support. As Northern Powerhouse Minister, I fully back this campaign. What is being called for reflects what I have been working so hard to achieve, and what our new Prime Minister needs to prioritise."

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Power Up the North campaign highlights an important issue.

"The North in general, and we would say Cumbria in particular, gets a poor deal from central Government."

Millom mayor Angela Dixon said: "It's good to see newspapers work together in order fight for their communities. "Seeing these media outlets work together might motivate government to put their squabbles aside. We want the government to ditch the Grizebeck-to-Askam project and show willing to work on the Tidal Gateway, which will see a connection between Barrow and the Duddon. I'd pay £4 to cross a bridge if it means it's more convenient."