Lord Jim O’Neill has been announced as the new chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), the business-led think tank and advocacy group based in the North of England.
NPP said O’Neill will serve one fixed three-year term “as part of a new approach to strengthen governance processes.”
O’Neill is a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords as well as the current chair of Northern Gritstone, an investment business focused on start-ups in the North of England, and a founding trustee of educational charity SHINE.
In 2014 he chaired the City Growth Commission before being appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, where he was a leading proponent of the original Northern Powerhouse vision.
His work has focused on how to tackle the productivity gap and grow the North’s economy.
O’Neill said: “The mission to close the North-South divide is hugely important to me.
“When we designed the original Northern Powerhouse economic project in Treasury nearly a decade ago, we wanted to boost productivity, drive up wages and unlock more opportunity for people living in the North of England.
“There are signs that our work is starting to have an effect in some areas but much more is needed, both from the public and private sector, in order to unleash the North’s true economic potential.
“I would like to say thank you to all our members and to our board for their continued support over the years.”