Long exposure shot of Manchester centre at night

Manchester’s devolution deal marks ‘seismic shift’ in power

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that a new devolution deal for Manchester, has been signed between the Levelling Up Minister and the Mayor.

The new deal will see more power and responsibility move from the hands of Whitehall, to local leaders who know where communities need it the most. These local priorities include improving bus and train services, as well as skills and housing.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“I’m really pleased to welcome Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison to Greater Manchester to sign what is the seventh devolution deal for our city-region – but this is by some way the deepest. This Deal takes devolution in the city-region further and faster than ever before, giving us more ability to improve the lives of people who live and work here.

“I have always been a passionate believer in the power off devolution, and I’ve been in the privileged position of being able to exercise those power and make a difference to people’s lives.

“We’ve worked hard to secure this Deal and have achieved a significant breakthrough by gaining greater control over post-16 technical education, setting us firmly on the path to become the UK’s first technical education city-region; new levers and responsibilities to achieve fully integrated public transport including rail through the Bee Network by 2030; new responsibilities over housing that will allow us to crack down on rogue landlords and control over £150 million brownfield funding; and a single block grant that will allow us to go further and faster in growing our economy, reducing inequalities and providing opportunities for all.

“With more power comes the need for great accountability and I welcome the strengthened arrangements announced in the Deal.

“We will continue to engage with government moving forward on other areas we’d like to see more local control over in the future which will help us to continue to improve life for people in Greater Manchester and those visiting. For now, our focus will be on getting ready to take on the new powers and be held to account on the decisions we will be making on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester. The signing of this deal marks a new era for English devolution.”

Previous deals have already seen success in the area, so this one twill deepen the existing powers that are held by local leaders, with new measures including:

  • A new long-term funding settlement. This includes the right to retain 100% of business rates for ten years, becoming 25 years in designated growth zones.
  • A wide-ranging partnership with Homes England that will see both parties working to invest £400 million in Greater Manchester by 2026.
  • Continuing support for regeneration and infrastructure. This will be done through £150 million worth of brownfield funding, £3.9 million for the elimination of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families, and £10 million to support levelling up and growth in Greater Manchester.
  • Supporting the delivery of the Bee Network by 2030 through a new rail partnership with Great British Railways.
  • Better integration of local stations, alongside the introduction of new ‘pay as you go’ ticketing.
  • Increased oversight and control of adult skills funding, as well as further responsibility for the development and delivery of careers advice.
  • Reducing the energy bills of households across Greater Manchester through devolution of funding to retrofit buildings.
  • Harnessing Greater Manchester’s renowned culture through a new partnership with national arts and culture organisations.
  • Introducing tools that will support the roll-out of high-speed broadband across Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester was also previously announced as one of the 12 new Investment Zones, with this bringing £80 million worth of funding over five years.

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