Newcastle City Council has announced that the planned devolution deal for the North East of England has been received positively, with support coming from residents, businesses and other stakeholders following an eight-week consultation.
The deal is expected to deliver an additional £4.2 billion worth of additional investment in the region across 30 years. This will include an investment fund that amounts to £1.4 billion, and significant further funding for transport, education and skills, housing, and regeneration.
This funding package is set to include:
- An investment of £1.4 billion (or £48 million per year) to support inclusive economic growth and support regeneration plans.
- Local skills priorities and improved resident opportunities being achieved through adult education and skills with an indicative budget of around £1.8 billion (or £60 million per year).
- Investment worth £900 million to transform the transport system. This will come through £563 million from the City Region Sustainable Transport Fund, as well as funding that has already been announced for buses and the metro system.
- Housing and regeneration investment worth £69 million, with this helping to unlock sites to accelerate new housing and commercial developments.
An additional 24,000 jobs are set to be created in the region, as well as the potential for the unlocking of extra private sector investment worth £5 billion. The new North East Mayoral Combined Authority will cover an area that includes County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, and Sunderland.
The leaders of the seven local authorities that will make up the new council said:
“The findings paint a clear picture of a united North East that wants us to work together to drive our region forward and inlock further opportunities in the future.
“We are confident that the changes will have economic, social and wellbeing impact by creating more good jobs and homes as well as creating a better-connected region.
“This consultation has provided us with a significant amount of positive feedback, as well as lots of important considerations to take on board, to ensure the North East Mayoral Combined Authority delivers for the near two million people who call our region their home.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part for helping us to progress with this historic opportunity that has the potential to transform our region for the better.”
The consultation process saw 3,235 individuals from across the region partake, with those who engaged being asked to consider five key areas. Overall, the majority of respondents agreed with the plans. These five key areas were:
- Governance of the proposed North East Mayoral Combined Authority
- Transport plans
- Plans for housing and planning
- Finance and Investment
- Skills, employment, and adult education plans
Now, the findings of the consultation will be presented to the cabinets of the local authorities that will make up the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority. If all cabinets agree that proceeding is the right way to go, the findings will then be presented to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities before he lays an order in Parliament to establish the new combined authority.