DOZENS of Northern MPs have signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the Government to invest in towns and cities left crippled by the coronavirus crisis.

More than 50 MPs, who are part of the Northern Research Group (NRG), have urged the Government to start work to level-up the North and make the region central to the country’s economic recovery.

The influential new group of northern Conservative backbenchers, including Barrow’s MP Simon Fell, is led by the former Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP.

Collectively, they share the mission to deliver greater prosperity and economic opportunity for the 15 million people across the region.

Many towns and cities in the North of England have been under strict local restrictions in the weeks preceding the Prime Minister’s announcement in early October when the country moved into a tier-based system.

With no end in sight, the adversity of local economies is set to continue with many people facing hardship as they close their businesses and lose their jobs, warned the NRG.

“I joined the NRG to keep the pressure on Government to continue on its programme of levelling up," said Conservative Mr Fell.

“We’ve just seen some big government spending in Furness with the £25million Town Deal for Barrow and £15million bypass at Grizebeck, for which I am incredibly grateful.

“But that doesn’t take away from the fact that communities like ours need substantial infrastructure renewal and investment to thrive, especially as we look beyond COVID.

"That’s why I’ve joined and that is the pressure I’ll be putting on Number 10 alongside my colleagues.”

The NRG suggestions include: set out a clear roadmap out of lockdown; prioritise accelerating key road, rail and social infrastructure projects and job creation and develop a tailored economic recovery plan for the North.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We are absolutely committed to levelling up across the country and building back better after coronavirus.”