A devolution deal for the North of Tyne region has been approved in what the Government describes as an ‘unprecedented’ transfer of power from Westminster to the North East.
Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry signed the Parliamentary Order last night which formerly confirmed the North of Tyne deal — a deal which includes the three North of Tyne authorities: Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The final agreement includes over £600m of Government funding, which will be divided into £20m payments each year for 30 years. This is earmarked for driving investment in digital skills, science and rural growth.
It will also see the creation of a new North of Tyne Combined Authority and a directly-elected North of Tyne Mayor with the election planned for May 2019.
A new Inclusive Growth Board to improve skills and employment reforms across the area, including a North of Tyne Education Improvement Challenge, is also part of the package.
It is also expected to generate £1.1bn for the local economy, 10,000 new jobs, and drive over £2.1bn in private sector investment
‘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,’ said Mr Berry.
‘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.’
Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, described yesterday as 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,’ he said.
North Tyneside’s elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, commented: ‘We have shown that we are big enough and bold enough to carve our own destiny and devolution puts us in a very strong position to build on our strengths and achieve great things for all of our businesses and residents long into the future.’
‘We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead,’ added Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council.