£100m plans include £12m worth of investment in transport links, and the development of two scientific research centres.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has unveiled detailed spending plans for the £100m Northern Way growth fund, set aside for economic development in the north of England.

The proposals include £12m-worth of investment in transport links, the development of two scientific research centres and £1m to research new investment policies for building sustainable communities in the North. The fund will also contribute to the expansion of Manchester Airport rail station.

Prescott said the plans were a significant step to reducing the £30b output gap between north and south. He said: “By working together, the three northern regions can help to build a stronger economy and a create a superb quality of life. The allocation of the £100 million is a big step forward. It shows that we mean business and will help us to attract even more public and private investment and development over the next 20 years.”

The Northern Way business plan was launched last September by the government, in partnership with the three northern RDAs: One NorthEast, Yorkshire Forward and the Northwest Development Agency.