North East set to get metro mayor under 1.4bn devolution deal

Council leaders in the North East have approved a £1.4bn devolution deal which will see seven local authorities represented by a new combined authority.  

Leaders from Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Durham and Northumberland agreed to the deal which is set to be voted in soon.  

The deal will ensure the region gets an elected metro mayor, £1.4bn to support economic growth and regeneration, £1.8bn for adult education and skills building and access to the £563m City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund.  

The new combined authority would replace the existing North of Tyne Combined Authority which already has an elected metro mayor.  

man standing on grass field

In a joint statement, local leaders and mayors said: ‘This is a significant step towards securing important decision-making powers and investment for our region. This would allow us to make decisions that reflect local needs and invest wisely into projects that will make a difference for all our residents, communities and local economy. 

‘We are pleased that we have successfully negotiated a proposed deal which is a step towards reaching our ambition for this region. This is an important milestone in our journey and we will now engage with stakeholders to move the deal to the next stage.’  

The deal will unlock £69m of investment for housing and regeneration and could create 24,000 jobs, deliver 70,000 skills courses each year, and attract £5bn in private sector funding.  

A mayoral election would take place in May 2024 once the combined authority is established, but first a public consultation on the deal is required to take place.  

This will be ongoing throughout early 2023, as residents will have eight weeks to put forward their views, but there will be no vote on whether the transfer of powers goes ahead.  

The new authority would cover an area home to two million people and will have the ability to make decisions on transport, skills, housing, finance and economic development. Existing councils will undergo no changes, however.  

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘I’m proud to have agreed a historic new devolution deal with the North East that gives local leaders more power, more money, and an even greater say on how their areas are run. 

‘A new mayor will ensure local priorities in the North East are at the heart of decision-making, while our billion-pound funding boost will provide the financial certainty needed to level up the area right now and for years to come.’ 

Photo by Boris YUE


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