Leaders of the North of Tyne Combined Authority have welcomed news of new funding and powers from Government and signalled the need for long term funding to match the scale of these ambitions.

Proposals set out by Government today signal a long-term commitment to ‘levelling up’ our economy – working with Mayoral Combined Authorities to deepen and strengthen funding and powers in the regions. These proposals build on investments in the North of Tyne that are already delivering for our businesses, places and communities.  This includes a pipeline of thousands of jobs, active skills and housing programmes; and investments in clean energy, offshore wind and economic innovation through our £600m devolved investment fund.

The North of Tyne will continue to work with the Government, businesses, and communities to create more jobs, opportunities for training and education, and a Green New Deal in the region. The North of Tyne Cabinet also welcomed Government commitment to open dialogue with the region on plans for further devolution in the North East – stating that whatever deal is reached would need to work for all of our communities and every part of the region.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “This is a resounding vote of confidence in our achievements so far. The Mayoral Combined Authority model works. We’re delivering more than 4487 new jobs in the pipeline for growing businesses, we’ve saved 2,679 jobs despite the impact on the economy of the Covid pandemic, we’ve created 28,800 courses for people to get good jobs, and we’ve supported 1,707 businesses with guidance and advice. Added to that, we’ve launched our £18m Green New Deal fund, investing in low carbon projects. We’re way ahead of target. But to make more impact we need more cash. This is a long-term plan that will need long term funding to match it.”

Deputy Mayor of the North of Tyne and Mayor of North Tyneside Council Norma Redfearn CBE said: “I welcome the invitation to discuss further devolution in the North East and will support any deal that is good for our residents. We’ve already made a great start.  We’ve set the foundations for further devolution by working collaboratively with the private sector to create new jobs, inclusive growth, and accelerate progress toward a net zero future. What comes next, regardless of size and scope, must be built around the needs of our residents, businesses and communities. The White Paper shows the will to make it simpler for Mayoral Combined Authorities to plan for the future and that is absolutely right; local leaders are at the heart of their communities and the people they represent, we understand their needs and ambitions and we are best placed to deliver this. The Government must now match the scale of ambition with the financial settlement to and resources to deliver.”

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative, and Rural and Leader of Northumberland County Council Cllr Glen Sanderson said: “I very much welcome Levelling Up and all that this will do to help not only the areas which most need support, but also for our residents who stand to gain through better skills training and greater job opportunities.”

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Jobs, Innovation, and Growth and Leader of Newcastle City Council Cllr Nick Forbes said: “I’m pleased that Government have decided to prioritise negotiations about our ambitious plans to transform the North East. We urgently need resources to support the recovery of our public transport network following the pandemic, as well as more powers and responsibilities to help us ensure our city and our region have a great future. “I look forward to cracking on with Ministerial discussions to get the best devolution deal possible for our businesses and communities.”