About Jamie Driscoll

Jamie grew up in the North East in the 80s and saw how communities were devastated when industry disappeared. His Dad was a shift worker at ICI after he was a tank driver in the Army. He learned his socialism from his Mam. She managed to work part time and study at Sunderland Polytechnic to become a youth worker, all while raising four kids. She went on to be women’s officer for Cleveland County Council, a Trade Union shop steward, and chair of the Women’s Refuge from Domestic Violence.

He left school at 16 and worked in a factory. When he was 22, he went to Northumbria University to study engineering as a mature student, working part-time as a bouncer to pay his way.

Jamie worked in Blyth as an engineer making breathing apparatus, and as a project manager and company director in the electronics and IT sector, setting up his own software development business. When his wife and he had kids, he became a stay-at-home Dad, so she could continue her career in the NHS as a GP.

Outside of work Jamie is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He spent decades honing the skill, then getting great satisfaction in training other people and helping them achieve things they didn’t think possible.

Jamie was a Labour & Cooperative councillor in Monument ward, Newcastle city centre, before running for Mayor. Jamie was elected Metro Mayor of North of Tyne on 3rd May 2019 and has been an independent Mayor since July 2023.

Jamie's Record

Mayor at Boiler House, N'cle Uni. June 23
Since taking office in May 2019 over 5,000 new jobs have been created, smashing the target set by government to create 10,000 jobs over 30 years, more than a decade ahead of schedule. Every job created is backed by our Good Work Pledge. Jamie works with local authority leaders, central government, businesses, and communities to support inward investment into the region. Jamie has already levered in £282m of private sector investment, helping to make the North East the number one region for inward investment job creation last year.

Jamie provides leadership over a vast range of projects. The NTCA is spending £25m in offshore infrastructure, 15% of its budget, as part of its commitment to tackling the climate emergency. There’s an £18m Green New Deal Fund to help business and charities decarbonise. £2.6m investment in arts and culture. £15m support for small and medium sized business to grow on top of the £15m Covid Recovery Fund. There’s £32m in brownfield housing, which is delivering 1,789 new affordable homes, with a further 620 in the pipeline hitting the target set by central government.

Jamie has strengthened community cohesion and resilience by investing heavily in community hubs. By marrying co-design principles with targeted funding of over £4m, 60 local community projects have been supported to date. These range from community beekeeping, beach wheelchairs, outdoor kitchens, repair cafes and bike recycling.

The Mayor also oversees the annual £25m Adult Education Budget. Increasing enrolments from 22,000 a year to 33,000 a year, for the same budget – a 50% increase in value for money.

This is in addition to the 77,000 courses already taken up by local people. 1,500 residents have completed NTCA Skills Bootcamps to date and a further £9m has been secured to expand this work. Numerous employability programmes have been funded to provide 1 to 1 support - helping unemployed residents overcome barriers to work.

Jamie led negotiations with ministers and local authority leaders on the new North East devolution deal worth £4.2billion of investment for the region, the largest deal in England. This will see more powers devolved including transport, housing, finance and economic development.

Jamie's Vision

“The climate crisis is real and urgent, but it is not the only emergency we face.

“The drag of poverty is as urgent as the climate crisis, and it causes long-term scarring to our whole society. They are two sides of the same coin.

“There’s no law of nature that says buses have to be expensive and unreliable. That work has to be insecure and badly paid. That homes have to be damp and cold. These can all be fixed – if we put the needs of working people and their families ahead of billionaires and global corporations.

“My plan is for full employment, a green new deal and a publicly run total transport network.

“Together we can build a zero carbon, zero poverty North East that we are proud to hand on to our children and grandchildren."
Front Cover of Prosperity Document
house iconCommunity Wealth Building
Windmill iconGreen Industrial Revolution
networking hubs iconSet Up Community Hubs
affordable homes iconBuild Affordable Homes
education iconMeaningful Adult Education