The North East and the Tees Valley will both receive extra funding and powers in return for having a directly-elected mayor, under two new devolution deals confirmed today.
The new North East combined authority will receive £900m over the next 30 years, and the new mayor will also have the power to raise business rates to help fund new infrastructure.
The agreement will also lead to the creation of a Commission for Health and Social Care Integration.
North East combined authority chair and Durham CC leader, Cllr Simon Henig, said: ‘The agreement being signed today will bring significant economic benefits and opportunities for businesses and residents.
‘Those living, working and doing business here in our region represent our greatest asset – and through this agreement we will invest in the people of the North East and support business to grow and thrive.’
The Tees Valley deal is worth £450m over 30 years, and provides for the transfer of significant powers for employment and skills, transport, planning and investment from Whitehall.
A new fund will be created to deliver a programme of investment in the region over the period.
Chair of the Tees Valley shadow combined authority and Redcar and Cleveland BC leader, Cllr Sue Jeffrey, said: ‘I’m pleased that the Government has put a devolution deal on the table and if it is agreed by all the Tees Valley councils there is no doubt it will enable us to do more locally to strengthen our economy and secure a more sustainable future for the Tees Valley.
Chancellor George Osborne said the Government’s devolution plans were ‘gathering an unstoppable momentum’ with the creation of the two new authorities.
Visit The MJ (£) to read their interview with Greg Clark, who predicts all of England will eventually be covered by devolved local authority structures.