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Legislation laid in Parliament to implement devolution deal

Extra investment and local decision making powers for the North East are moving a step closer as a historic devolution deal is set for approval by Parliament.


The seven North East councils involved in the deal, two combined authorities and North of Tyne Mayor have given their approval for a new North East Mayoral Combined Authority to be established, with the election of a mayor set for May this year.


The final part of the process is now underway with an order laid in parliament which will pave the way for the new authority to be formed, following the election.


Each council has already agreed to the deal, worth billions to the region, along with the North of Tyne and North East Combined Authorities. Those two combined authorities will be abolished when the new authority is formed.


The new combined authority is being set up under the leadership of the seven council leaders in County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.


It does not impact the services that local councils are responsible for delivering. The functions of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Transport North East and Invest North East England will be delivered by the new combined authority.


The seven council leaders, and North of Tyne Mayor, welcomed the next step in the process.


In a joint statement they said: “It‘s exciting that the devolution deal we secured is now moving through Parliament. It’s an important final step before the formation of our new combined authority.


“As a group of leaders we are working together already to put plans into place to deliver for our residents, businesses and communities.


“That collaboration means we will hit the ground running and deliver results for the people of this region.


“The new powers and funding we negotiated will mean important decisions about our region will be made here, in the North East. This is set to be a transformative year for the North East.”


Minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young, said: “Today is an important milestone for communities across the North East as their landmark devolution deal moves one step closer to becoming a reality.


“The reason we’re so excited for this to get over the line is because a major part of levelling up is giving local people, who know their areas best, the levers and money they need to improve their areas.

“That’s exactly what this deal does - from Sedgefield to the Scottish Border - providing new decision-making powers, billions in funding and a new mayor who can champion their area on behalf of the two million who live there.”


The devolution deal, which received widely-positive feedback during a public consultation last year, was agreed with government in December 2022. The £4.2bn investment package includes:


· An investment fund of £1.4bn, or £48m a year, to support inclusive economic growth and support regeneration


· An indicative budget of around £1.8bn, or £60m a year, for adult education and skills – to meet local skills priorities and improve opportunities for residents

· A £900m package of investment to transform our transport system, with £563m from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund, on top of funding already announced for our buses and metro system


· £69m of investment in housing and regeneration, unlocking sites to bring forward new housing and commercial development


It is also expected to lead to an extra 24,000 jobs in the region and unlock an additional £5bn in private sector investment. It 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.


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