North of Tyne devolution deal details revealed

Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor for North Tyneside.
Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor for North Tyneside.

The 815,000 people living in North Tyneside, Northumberland and Newcastle and will vote for a new directly-elected mayor who will have new powers in housing, planning and skills.

Details of the devolution deal, worth an initial £600million, have been unveiled today by Treasury Minister Andrew Jones, who visited the region and was joined by the Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry and local leaders.

The North of Tyne area’s devolved powers include full control over the adult education budget, an Inclusive Growth Board to co-ordinate skills and employment and a rural productivity plan, with North of Tyne receiving a Rural Business classification in order to help attract funding.

In addition, the deal includes a collaboration commitment with the Government to boost trade and investment, digital infrastructure and growth across the area in sectors such as science research, offshore developments, renewable energy projects, culture and creative industries.

Mr Jones said: “This Government is delivering for the North East. We have been clear in our commitment to ensure that opportunity is shared across the country as we create an economy fit for the future.

“Today represents a big step in achieving this – giving the people of the North of the Tyne a bigger voice and greater power over their future.

“This historic deal, including £600 million of Government investment, is yet another example of how we are backing the North. It will bolster the local economy in the North of Tyne and generate thousands of new jobs.

“This deal comes on top of a Budget that delivers brand new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, freezes fuel duty for the eighth year running and supports business with a cut in business rates.”

The Government estimates that the deal will boost the local economy by £1.1billion, create 10,000 new jobs and attract £2.1billion in private investment.

Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, said: “This is a very exciting deal that will help us to develop our economy and give us access to a wide range of new opportunities.

“I am extremely proud of North Tyneside and am confident this deal will allow us to build on the strengths of our people and businesses.

“It provides people with the chance to retrain, gain new skills and secure jobs at all levels in growing economies in our area.

“We will be able to invest in our infrastructure to support existing businesses and attract new ones, and make the North of Tyne an even better place to live.

“It’s vital that the North of Tyne has a strong voice as the country makes important decisions about its future. This deal gives us a seat at the table with other mayors, where we can fight for the needs of our residents.”