North East leaders welcome ‘positive response’ to historic devolution deal

Plans for a historic devolution deal for the North East of England have received widespread support from residents across the region.

The support following an eight-week consultation earlier this year which asked residents, businesses and other stakeholders to give their views on the proposed scheme.

Respondents welcomed the proposed increase in regional power, a greater profile for the North East and closer working arrangements among key organisations.

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The devolution deal is expected to provide £4.2bn of additional investment to the North East over 30 years, including a £1.4bn investment fund alongside significant funding for transport, education, skills, housing and regeneration.

The deal would involve the creation of a new mayoral combined authority that covers County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

North East Devolution Consultation in February at The Word, South Shields.North East Devolution Consultation in February at The Word, South Shields.
North East Devolution Consultation in February at The Word, South Shields.

It is also projected to create 24,000 additional jobs in the area and unlock £5bn of additional private sector investment in to the region.

Welcoming the positive reaction from across the North East, the leaders of the seven local authorities said: “The findings paint a clear picture of a united North East that wants to see us work together to drive our region forward and unlock further opportunities in the future.

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“We are confident that the changes will have economic, social and wellbeing impact by creating more good jobs and homes as well as creating a better-connected region.

“This consultation has provided us with a significant amount of positive feedback, as well as lots of important considerations to take on board, to ensure the North East Mayoral Combined Authority delivers for the near two million people who call our region their home.

“We would like to thank everyone who took part for helping us to progress with this historic opportunity that has the potential to transform our region for the better.”

A total of 3,235 poeple and organisations from across the North East took part in the consultation process.

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Participants were asked to consider five key areas around the proposals, and in all instances, the majority of respondents agreed with the plans.

These were governance of the proposed North East Mayoral Combined Authority (61% agreed) as well as its plans around transport (67%), housing and planning (60%), finance and investment (53%), and skills, employment and adult education (65%).

A summary of the findings will now be presented to the respective Cabinets of each of the seven constituent local authorities and two combined authorities.

It they all agree to proceed with the plans, the findings will be presented to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to consider before laying an order in Parliament to establish the new combined authority.

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If approved, it is expected that an election to appoint a new mayor would take place in May 2024, at which point the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority would come into effect.

You can read the cabinet report and consultation report at:

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