‘Once-in-a-generation’ £600m devolution deal for North of Tyne

Ministers have signed a £600m devolution deal for the North of Tyne in a “once-in-a-generation” transferring of devolved power and investment to a new combined authority.

The Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry signed the parliamentary order last night, confirming the devolution deal covering three North of Tyne councils: Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

The deal is expected to generate £1.1bn and 10,000 jobs for the local economy, and bring £2.1bn in private sector investment, providing a major economic boost to a “key region within the Northern Powerhouse.”

The move will see the creation of the new North of Tyne Combined Authority and the election of a directly-elected mayor with the election planned for May 2019.

A new Inclusive Growth Board to take forward skills and employment reforms in the area will be introduced, as well as a Pioneering North of Tyne Education Improvement Challenge to improve schools across the region.

The Northern Powerhouse minister said: “This deal represents over £600m of investment into the North of Tyne and a landmark moment for devolution in the Northern Powerhouse with a new, directly elected mayor who will be a strong champion for the region.

“The North of Tyne devolution deal is further proof that we’re witnessing a new golden era for the North East as the combined authority uses this unprecedented investment to improve public services, create new jobs and new economic opportunities.

“We’re transferring funding and decision making away from Westminster and placing them directly into the hands of local people, allowing them to have a real say over their future.”

An inaugural cabinet meeting on Thursday at Morpeth Town Hall will assign cabinet roles and responsibilities and set the budget for 2018-19, as well as agreeing a timetable for selecting an interim mayor ahead of the election.

The £600m funding will be distributed over 30 years, with £20m annually helping to drive forward investment in digital skills, science and rural growth.

Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, welcomed the news and said: “We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Newcastle City Council’s leader Nick Forbes added: “Today marks a significant day in the north’s devolution journey. We’ve begun the work of uniting behind a single voice and taking control of our future.”

The North of Tyne’s devolution deal is the latest region in the Northern Powerhouse taking control of its future.

At EvoNorth next year, devolution will be the centre of discussion between industry leaders and representatives, all focused on driving forward the Northern Powerhouse. Click here to find out more.

Image credit - Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government


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