A devolution deal and more than £600m of Government investment for the North of Tyne region has been greenlit by Parliament.
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry last night (November 1) signed a Parliamentary Order to formally confirm the deal – described by the Government as an ‘unprecedented transfer of devolved power and investment funding’ from Westminster to the North East.
The deal encompasses the area north of the Tyne river covered by Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Councils.
It is forecast to generate £1.1bn for the local economy and deliver 10,000 new jobs for the region, in addition to driving more than £2.1bn in investment from the private sector.
Other key benefits for the area include:
- More than £600m of Government funding (comprising £20m a year for 30 years) for driving investment in digital skills, science and rural growth
- The creation of a North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and a directly elected North of Tyne Mayor, with the first election due in May 2019
- A new Inclusive Growth Board that will implement skills and employment reforms across the area
Commenting on the news, Jake Berry MP 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.”
He added: “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.”
Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, commented: “The creation today of the North of Tyne Combined Authority is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work by local leaders.
“The deal delivers £600m of new government investment for the region over the next 30 years to fund key local priorities.”
He continued: “This move will put more power into the hands of local communities, with the people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland voting next May for a new directly-elected mayor to lead this vital work.”
Newcastle City Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes said: “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.
“We still have much more to do in bringing further powers and decision making back to people here, but this devolution deal marks a big step forward in our plans to create more and better jobs across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.”
He added: “Now we need to get on with the task at hand, investing in our region and showing the nation and beyond why this is such a great place to live, work and visit.”
An inaugural cabinet meeting, to be held at Morpeth Town Hall, will assign cabinet roles and responsibilities, set a budget for 2018/19 and agree a timetable for selecting an interim mayor to support the NTCA until the election in May.
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