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Tees Valley receives £15m in first devolution payment

Words: Laura Edgar

Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy has announced that Tees Valley has received the first £15 million of funding outlined in the areas devolution deal.

The deal, signed in October 2015, sets out an investment programme for the area, which will receive £450 million a year over the next 30 years.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority will now decide how the money will be spent in order to deliver key elements of its strategic economic plan. This includes supporting more young people to gain the skills required to progress into work, extending high speed broadband and creating viable business cases for major infrastructure investments.

The area will also have control over decisions such as transport.

Percy said: “Today’s £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 said: ”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.”

In February this year, Lord Heseltine announced that it is “full-steam ahead” for plans to establish a Mayoral Development Corporation in the Tees Valley. At the time, the government said the body would offer a vehicle for greater powers to be devolved in the area, including regeneration planning.

The corporation’s work would involve securing investment from the UK and oversees to bring in new jobs and business.

This Mayoral Development Corporation forms part of the devolution deal.

Read more about the corporation here.

Image credit | iStock