UK Treasury chief outlines plans to link northern cities to create second British power center

UK Treasury chief George Osborne has made the case for creating a second economic powerhouse in the country to rival London, arguing that better rail connections in northern England would help cities pool resources and boost investment.

Osborne outlined Monday plans to better connect the northern cities and create a high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds. He says northern cities, while individually strong, can do better if they combine their resources.

He said: "The powerhouse of London dominates more and more. And that's not healthy for our economy."

The speech comes as policymakers attempt to address the growing economic divide separating London from the rest of Britain. Britain's South East region has expanded almost twice as fast economically as the rest of the country since the 2008 financial crisis.