Newcastle's City Council cabinet gave their consent for the anticipated £4.2bn agreement to proceed on Thursday 2 November. This joins their counterparts in North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Durham who have also endorsed the deal. Leaders in Sunderland and Northumberland are now left to back the deal for the last local hurdle to be cleared. Following this, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove will be expected to present the necessary orders in Parliament to establish the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority.
In a statement on 2 November, Councillor Kemp emphasised the significance of the achievement. He expressed his own optimism in the deal and the potential for the city of Newcastle and the North East as a whole to enhance and develop. The devolution deal would promise to address crucial issues including: transportation, clean energy and green infrastructure. Kemp did however note that the deal is just a "starting point" for further increased investment across the region.
The devolution agreement encompasses 30 years and an investment fund of £1.4 billion to support economic growth and regeneration and approximately £60 million annually for adult education and skills. An additional £900 million is expected for transport investment and £69 million for housing and regeneration. It is hoped the deal with lead to the creation of 24,000 new jobs and unlock an additional £5 billion in private sector investment.
If the deal is to pass through Parliament in early 2024, an election would be held in May to choose the inaugural mayor of the North East. This would not be the first time the region has attempted to unite under a mayor, however, in 2016 Gateshead, Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside withdrew from the devolution deal. This led to the formation of the North of Tyne Combined Authority in 2018, which would be dissolved under the new deal.