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North East devolution

On 20th March 2024 an historic transfer of power and money from Westminster to the North East was confirmed following the signing of a landmark devolution deal between the government and the leaders of the region's major councils.

The North East 'trailblazer' devolution deal will hand the incoming North East Mayor and Cabinet more control over transport, housing and skills, and makes available over £100 million of new funding that can be invested in the North East's priorities.

It sets a clear route for the region to take on the core powers agreed with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and in places it goes further - with a trailblazing approach to public sector innovation and a new North East Coastal and Rural Taskforce being set up to strengthen the region's rural and coastal communities.

These powers are in addition to the devolved powers coming to the new North East Combined Authority in May, following the election of a mayor.

Council Leaders secured the right to agree the 'deeper devolution' deal as part of the region's original devolution negotiations.

The new powers are designed to reflect the region's unique geography, with a mixture of urban, rural, and coastal communities.

Highlights of the deal include:

  • A £25m investment to support the development of the Riverside Sunderland site along with creation of a 'Growth Zone' to attract investment.

  • Investment of £10m to accelerate progress on a Health Innovation Zone - including the Health Innovation Neighbourhood and Forth Yards sites in Newcastle.

  • Support for the region's rural and coastal economy - including a new Taskforce to support biodiversity and the natural environment.

  • £58m of funding brought forward to cover the maintenance and renewal of the Tyne and Wear Metro system for the next two years.

  • A single funding pot for housing and regeneration, more influence over affordable housing with a commitment to a future single government department style financial settlement.

  • Creation of a formal rail board with the government and rail industry to jointly develop plans for improvements to rail infrastructure and services in the region.

  • Support for plans to develop the expansion of the "Pop" card onto local rail services.

  • More local responsibility for developing and delivering adult education, skills and careers advice and working in partnership with Department for Work and Pensions to improve how people get into work.

  • More control over delivering affordable homes for residents, in partnership with Homes England.

  • A North East Strategic Energy Board which will coordinate energy supply and demand and promote growth in the offshore wind sector.

  • Development of a blueprint to support growth of the creative industries, heritage, sport and the visitor economy, and new opportunities to attract additional investment.

  • The Government will also work to address barriers to growth at the region's ports and airport - the Green Superport - including on policy areas like grid infrastructure capacity and developing an industry-leading skills pipeline.