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Devolution is delivering already

More than £500m of North East investment has already been unlocked as part of a historic devolution deal.


A new combined authority is just weeks away from being formed with a mayor due to be elected by the public in May to lead the authority with the seven council Leaders.


The deal struck with government will see the councils of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland as the area covered by the new authority.


Ahead of the formation of the new Authority leaders of the seven councils have secured a package of early investment and commitments from government.


The package includes separate investment in housing, skills, transport and regeneration schemes either in specific locations or benefiting the whole region.


The package includes:

·         An Adult Education Budget of £68m to invest in adult skills relevant to the regional economy

 

·         A £17m regional programme of skills bootcamps co-designed with employers for adults to train and gain skills to improve their job prospects

 

•       Funding to unlock housing development – with £17.5m of additional investment to unlock 1,159 new homes across Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside and County Durham building on £32m across the North of Tyne Combined Authority area

 

•       Capital investment to create jobs – with £34m investment for regeneration projects, including funding to support the visitor economy at Gateshead Quays, innovation districts at NETPark and Aykley Heads in County Durham, regeneration of Blyth Culture Hub and Market Place, improvements to the public realm and footfall to the Fish Quay in North Shields, and culture and creative sector growth in Newcastle. 

 

•       Significant new capital investment in transport of over £147m as well as the recently announced £73m for County Durham.





In a joint statement the seven Leaders said: “This is about more than money – this is about investing in the future of our region and in our people.


“The public want to see real results so that’s why we have been working together now to get on with the job.


“Together this package of early investment will mean meaningful change for residents and businesses across the region.


“It’s a great start as we start to realise the additional benefits of the devolution deal and make a difference for communities across the region.


“We are strongest when we all work together for the good of this region and we are already seeing the impact of that collaboration.”


The devolution deal also included scope for the region to enter into ‘trailblazer’

negotiations to enable the North East to play a leading role in further devolution of powers and investment in the future.


A trailblazer deal would give more devolved powers to the region with a step towards a single departmental style financial settlement, akin to the deals already agreed with Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.


These talks are ongoing between council leaders and government.


In addition Leaders have agreed a £160m Investment Zone for the North East, that will create up to 4,000 new jobs.


The zone will be targeted at Advanced Manufacturing and Green Industries – reflecting the region’s long-standing sectoral strengths and increasing prominence as an international hub for clean energy.


The North East is already a world leader in automotive and advanced manufacturing, electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing, the offshore wind sector and advanced low-carbon materials.

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