Tees Valley Combined Authority has become the first authority outside of London to be granted the power to create locally-accountable Mayoral Development Corporations.
Parliament has approved new legislation which will allow the Tees Valley mayor - to be elected on May 4 - to create development corporations in order to drive economic growth and support the regeneration of key sites.
The new powers include responsibility for developing infrastructure and attracting new businesses. They also give the mayor the power to coordinate land ownership, including through compulsory purchase powers.
The Tees Valley is the first area outside Greater London to benefit from these powers, which have previously only been available to the London 2012 Legacy Development Corporation and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – both created by the Mayor of London.
The northeastern region has already concluded a consultation to create a South Tees Development Corporation, to develop a 4,300 acres area, which includes the site of the former SSI steelworks in Redcar.
‘Having seen first-hand the devastating impact of the closure of the Redcar Steelworks, I understand the importance of using every opportunity possible to secure the new, good quality jobs our region needs,’ said Cllr Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, and a member of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Cllr Jeffrey, who is also the chair of the shadow board of the South Tees Development Corporation, said: ‘These new powers, secured by the Tees Valley Combined Authority through our devolution deal, allow us to create a powerful new development body, and secure the huge opportunities available in the South Tees area.’
Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy congratulated Tees Valley for having ‘the vision to establish this far-reaching new deal.’
‘These new powers that we’re devolving straight from Whitehall to the Tees Valley are a crucial step to improve economic growth and regeneration in the area,’ he said.
‘It’s all part of our plan to give the region direct control over its future, with local people having the opportunity to vote for a brand new mayor on 4 May.’