The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has set out its vision for the future as it goes to government for a bold economic recovery deal.
Its five-point investment plan would see investment in the North of Tyne ‘levelled-up’. The rallying cry, made in a video published today, could see £1.1 billion investment used to help North of Tyne power a North East-wide recovery with major projects stretching from the Borders to the Tyne. It would see the creation of 35,000 jobs and 14,000 training opportunities, improvements to 50,000 homes and 3,000 new homes built, and a focus on new ways of living, working, socialising and connecting rooted in offshore innovation and digital connectivity.
The NTCA Recovery and Devolution Deal video shows the resources, powers, and relationships with Government the combined authority needs in order to recover from the impact of COVID-19. It is part of a wider, collaborative effort across the North East which the North of Tyne strongly supports. Stressing the need to act quickly to protect and create jobs, it calls for the transformation of the economy of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland from one based on the industries of the past to a green, inclusive economy that draws together the talents and strengths of our communities, universities, and businesses.
And it describes the ambition to create the exemplar post-covid city region, with Newcastle as an international city connected to the coastline and countryside of North Tyneside and Northumberland and supported by world class health care, green energy, and village and town centres innovating new patterns of work, living, socialising and connecting. Mayor Jamie Driscoll said the need to strengthen North of Tyne’s ability to invest, convene and influence change was central to the recovery from COVID-19.
Mayor Driscoll said: “The North of Tyne needs investment. We’ve been left behind for too long. I spoke to government, and they asked the combined authority to lead an economic recovery plan. All our business organisations, universities, and local authorities have come together to develop this plan.
“It will bring 35,000 good quality jobs and 14,000 training places. It will modernise our transport and build affordable homes. It will build on our existing Green New Deal and leverage £billions in investment in new industries around offshore wind and digital technology. We’ve given them all the evidence, all the business cases. If central government is committed to levelling-up, they need to sign it off.”
North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Housing and Land and Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Council Norma Redfearn CBE said: “We’re striving as a Combined Authority to create a better future for our residents and our communities; one that is more inclusive, greener, that works for us all. This deal will allow us to do what only we can do: to focus on an economy for our people to create a better future for the North of Tyne.”
The NTCA is a Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA), one of nine currently in place across England. It is submitting a plan to the Spending Review as an existing MCA, as well as supporting a wider regional blueprint for transport and connectivity, and a North East-wide economic recovery plan.
The NTCA Recovery and Devolution Deal five point plan would request support for:
- A multi-million ‘Jobs and Skills Promise’ as part of a wrap-around education and skills programme for the North of Tyne. This is underpinned by a bold partnership with DWP exemplified by co-delivery of KickStart, Youth Hubs and joined-up employment support.
- Targeted investment in critical sectors for rapid recovery and post-Brexit export readiness. The priority would be a £270m Investment Fund uplift to unlock global opportunities and underpin strong regional sector growth.
- Front-loaded investment in place recovery, housing, culture and critical business support to drive the rapid renewal of high streets, communities and places.
- Fiscal innovation to develop radical new financing models and incentives for shared investment.
- Transformational transport and infrastructure projects to connect the post-covid region and to pioneer the ‘digital commute.’
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside have seen 15,000 more people on unemployment benefits, an increase of 60%. Almost 30% of working people were furloughed, with young people hit especially hard. Training schemes and apprenticeships were reduced, and some businesses saw a reduction in trade of as much as 30%.
You can read the deal document ‘Working for you: Recover, Redesign, Reimagine’ here.
The video, produced by Newcastle-based video production, animation and video marketing agency Three Motion, can be seen here: