Tees Valley has received the transfer of £15 million of government money directly to local people through the region’s ground-breaking devolution deal.
As the first of payments from a total of £450 million due over the next 30 years, Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy vowed to get the agenda ‘firing on all cylinders’.
Created in April, and comprising five councils from across the area, the Tees Valley Combined Authority is set to be chaired by the region’s first-ever directly-elected mayor, with elections set to take place in May 2017.
The funding will allow the Authority to deliver key elements of its Strategic Economic Plan, including improving outcomes from education, extending high speed broadband, supporting growth sectors of the economy to generate more jobs, and supporting more young people to gain the skills required to progress into work.
Percy said: “The people of the Tees Valley came up with an ambitious devolution deal which puts them back in charge of decisions that matter to them.
“Now the £15 million government investment into the Northern Powerhouse is proof that we will equip them with what they need to get the North firing on all cylinders and build an economy that works for everyone.
“And with powers over transport, training and regeneration all coming back into Teessiders’ hands, local people will also now have the chance to head to the polls and vote for a powerful new Mayor to put them into practice.”
Mayor David Budd, chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority, added: “The Tees Valley has ambitious plans to create jobs and grow the local economy. Devolution gives us the opportunity to deliver locally-led initiatives to transform our economy – far more effectively than decisions made behind a desk in Whitehall.
“This additional funding negotiated through our devolution deal, as the first payment of a 30 year commitment, is one more step on this journey.
“We will invest it in local priorities which give people the skills they need, and the jobs our region needs for a successful future. We will continue our dialogue with government to secure further commitments, and to become a flagship for successful devolution.”
The Tees Valley devolution deal is one of nine across the country, meaning decisions that have previously been made in Westminster will now be made in the areas they affect most.
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