BUSINESS leaders are calling on the prime minister to help unlock the region's "extraordinary potential" as Boris Johnson pledged to give more power to the North.

Mr Johnson expressed his committed to a new Northern Powerhouse growth body to drive the region’s economy, with powers to bring together major organisations in the region.

It is understood a chair would be appointed to head up the body, working closely with Jake Berry, the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking in South Yorkshire, he said he remained committed to delivering the Sheffield City Region Deal, and pointed to further devolution deals for Yorkshire and possible negotiations with Leeds and West Yorkshire. He said: “It is time that we gave more people a say over the places where they live, and it is time that we gave you the proper ability to run things your way.”

"We are going to maximise the power of the north. And we are going to make sure that it is people here who are in control over the things that matter to them."

Roger Marsh who chairs the NP11 - a government-funded board made up of the 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) -elcomed the news, which coincides with the ongoing Convention of the North in South Yorkshire.

But he called for a coherent Manifesto for the North. He said: “We welcome Government’s commitment to a new Northern Powerhouse growth body. To ensure this will be wholly effective in placing our region front and centre of driving the UK’s post-Brexit growth, this must be a body that is truly of the north and for the north.”

“As we have outlined today to Government, this new body’s first task must be to create and deliver upon a jointly agreed, coherent Northern Powerhouse Strategy – a Manifesto for the North which will set out clearly what the North is asking of its own people, as well as from Government to unlock its extraordinary potential.”