North of Tyne’s new combined authority sets out its ambitions for devolved £600m fund

North of Tyne leaders vote to approve a key strategic document outlining their vision and early funding opportunities for the new combined authority.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), fresh from its “once-in-a-generation” £600m devolution announced last week, hosted its first ever cabinet meeting in Morperth yesterday in which members from all three constituent councils voted to approve the new vision document.

The authority, made up of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils, said it was “getting down to business” and that the documents would provide a “touchstone for everything the authority hopes to achieve,” and will give strategic direction for the use of the newly-devolved £600m Investment Fund over the next 30 years.

The vision document, entitled ‘Home of Ambition,’ sets out six key priorities for the authority, such as supporting funding opportunities including grants to attract new businesses and supporting existing ones, as well as a growth fund for rural communities.

The authority has also pledged to work with the DfT on a business case for a new passenger service on the Northumberland-North Tyneside-Newcastle rail line, as well as projects to improve STEM and digital skills amongst young people.

North Tyneside’s elected mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “This is what we’ve been working towards for a long time.

“Our new vision document is an inspiring piece of work which sets the tone for a prosperous new future - and the projects we have identified at this early stage are a good match for those priorities.”

Other projects invited to apply for business case development funding in the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s vision document include a local full fibre network, North Shields redevelopment, and a targeted employment services for areas of high unemployment in Newcastle.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Today we take another step forward in our mission to create more and better jobs for people in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

“We have more work to do, but this is a significant moment in our devolution journey.

“We want to show the nation and beyond that this is a great place to invest in, to live in or to visit, and whether it’s promoting our tourism industry or kick starting a new digital revolution, we now have a much greater say over our own destiny.”

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