A REPORT co-authored by Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry has called for a “Northern Big Bang” of deregulation and business incentives.

The report, released by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, calls for a new initial investment incentive, a cash payment to attract new investments and global capital to Lancashire and the North West along with tax cuts and deregulation for larger businesses.

The authors say new investment should focus on green growth and meeting targets for net zero carbon emissions by incentivising investment into, among other things, environmentally friendly industries.

Mr Berry, co-author of the report alongside CPS research fellow Nick King, said: “The measures we have put forward will help the prime minister and this government to level up the economy and help make the North build back better as one of the most investable places in modern times.”

More controversially Mr Berry has said the report calls for the government to “embody Thatcher’s radicalism” by allowing larger investors to bypass local regulations. Meanwhile critics of the strategy say the recommendations would amount to deregulation and tax cuts for big business and would allow developers to weaken local democracy, without guaranteeing good quality wages and conditions for new jobs.

However Mr Berry, who also chairs the Northern Research Group of Conservative MPs, and Mr King argue the plan would allow the government to dramatically increase investment in the Northern economy and deliver economic growth to the region, which has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Other recommendations include leveraging UK Infrastructure Bank investments to encourage private sector investment, creating a new Northern Infrastructure Bond aimed at attracting global investors, and allowing all capital expenditure by Northern businesses to be written-off for two years.

Nick King said: “This government has taken positive steps to deliver more public investment in infrastructure, but what the North needs is the scale of investment, and dynamism, that only the private sector can bring.

“There is a huge amount of domestic and global capital ready to be invested.

“Our recommendations are designed to make the North of England one of the most investable places on the planet and to unleash this capital through a Northern Big Bang.”