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Last step for major regional devolution deal

North Tyneside Council's headquarters at The Quadrant.
North Tyneside Council's headquarters at The Quadrant.

The final stage in the process to conclude a historic devolution deal for the region got under way this week.

Before the Prime Minister held her first Cabinet meeting in Gateshead on Monday, she announced that the Government would lay legislation in Parliament to formally conclude the deal and transfer new powers from central Government to a new North of Tyne Combined Authority, unlocking a £600million investment fund.

The order was made in Parliament on Tuesday and it will be discussed when Parliament returns in the autumn.

The deal is expected to generate £1.1billion for the local economy, create 10,000 new jobs and leverage £1.2billion in private sector investment.

The three North of Tyne councils – Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland – expect to set up the new authority in October and will appoint an interim mayor ahead of a mayoral election in summer 2019.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “I think we are at a stage in this process now where we can start to feel genuinely excited about what lies ahead.

“This deal has been a long time coming and hopefully this final stage of the process will go smoothly so we can get down to business and deliver an exciting new future for people across our region.”

The North of Tyne area covers 5,200sq km and has a population of more than 810,000. It has 23,000 businesses employing over 400,000 people.

The Prime Minister also this week confirmed an investment of up to £780million for major upgrades to the East Coast Main Line from 2019.