Leaders in the North East have approved new plans to progress a devolution deal that would bring new investment and power to the region.
The move would see additional investment of £4.2 billion being injected into the region, as the seven local authorities involved in the deal make plans to hold meetings where members will be asked about the project. These seven local authorities are:
- County Durham
- North Tyneside
- South Tyneside
During the meetings, the local authority cabinets will be asked to give their consent to abolish the North of Tyne Combined Authority and the North East Combined Authority and then replace them with the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority. The order is expected to be made in early 2024, being followed by elections to appoint a new mayor in May.
The package of investment that will come as part of the deal will include:
- A £1.4 billion investment fund that will work to support inclusive economic growth and regeneration
- An indicative adult education and skills budget of approximately £1.8 billion to meet skills priorities and deliver better opportunities for residents
- A transport investment package of £900 million, including £563 million from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund
- Housing and regeneration funding of £69 million that will unlock sites to further new housing and commercial development projects.
Council leaders across the region published a joint statement, saying:
“We are incredibly proud of the deal we have agreed that we believe will help the North East realise its full potential.
“The feedback from residents, businesses and other stakeholders across the region has been very positive, and we look forward to taking this opportunity to improve the lives of the two million people who are proud to call the North East of England their home.
“This is an important step towards our vision of establishing a new combined authority that gives the North East control over its own future and we look forward to working with Government to achieve that outcome for our region.
“We remain ambitious to secure even more for our region and we are already in negotiations with government on a trailblazer deal for even more investment.”
Alongside new investment, the deal is projected to bring a further 24,000 jobs to the region.
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