The North East devolution deal takes one step closer to fruition

The latest on the North East's journey to devolution.

Sam Norman
21st November 2023
Wikimedia commons - Steve nova
In yet another momentous turn of events in the North East, the long-awaited devolution deal looks to finally be taking shape. Newcastle's Labour Leader Nick Kemp praised the deal, that would create a new regional mayor representing over 2 million people across Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland.

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.

Councillor Kemp emphasised the significance of the achievement

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.

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AUTHOR: Sam Norman
Head of Current Affairs 23/24. Campus Comment Sub-editor 22/23. BA English Language and Literature Student.

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