The organisation tasked with boosting the North's economy has pledged to make Carlisle a priority in the Government's HS2 plans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave HS2 the go-ahead, claiming it would deliver prosperity across the country.

Although the new high-speed line is not projected to go any further north than Wigan, HS2 trains will continue over existing tracks to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying for more than a year for the trains to follow the existing stopping pattern north of Preston and today, Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse, said: "The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will be prioritising a station stop in Carlisle as part of the coming debates and upcoming review to integrate HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail."

Northern Powerhouse Rail, previously known as HS3, aims to improve transport connections between major northern English cities.

Mr Johnson added that the Government will "look at how we can best design and integrate rail investments across the North including Northern Powerhouse Rail between Leeds and Manchester".

His announcement was welcomed by Henri Murison, the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, who said: “

"Our HS2 North report before Christmas identified the economic opportunities in West Cumbria and Borderlands, which could be significant to making this project have its full possible benefits maximised.”

Carlisle Conservative MP John Stevenson said: “This will bring a national benefit as well as a local one to Cumbria.

“The primary benefit that HS2 will bring is increased capacity.

“I want to see the HS2 upgrades extend beyond Manchester, and all the way up to Glasgow.

“That must be the long-term goal of the HS2 project, but it has to be recognised that this project will take time.

“It is such a huge infrastructure project, that it has to be recognised that the full extent of the project will take time to be realised.

“That is also the case with the costs of the project – yes, the headline figure is a very large sum of money, but this cost will be spread out over a number of years as the project is realised.”

Phase 1 between London and Birmingham was due to open in December 2026, but HS2 Ltd chairman Allan Cook said last year it would be prudent to plan for an opening between 2028 and 2031.

Despite warnings that the final bill could reach £106 billion, when its budget was £62.4 billion, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons it was part of a transport revolution.

He announced that HS2 Ltd would focus solely on building the railway between London and Crewe, while new delivery arrangements will be created by the Government for the Phase 2b stretches from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds.

The Prime Minister told MPs that to avoid "further blowouts" in HS2's cost or schedule, a series of measures will be taken to "restore discipline".

This will include appointing a minister whose full-time job will be to oversee the project, and changes to the way HS2 is managed.

Mr Johnson also announced a five-year £5 billion cash injection to boost bus and cycle links in English regions outside London.

He said the country was being held back by inadequate infrastructure.