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Yorkshire Day milestone as Proposed Devolution Deal Announced

Published Monday, 1 August 2022

This Yorkshire Day, the Government has announced its proposed Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire, marking a major milestone towards securing devolution for York and North Yorkshire.

The deal, which was signed this afternoon by Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire Council, is now available in full detail for residents, businesses and organisations to view, before it is ultimately considered by Full Council.

The proposed deal, if agreed by the respective Councils, would be worth £750 million to York and North Yorkshire. It would see an elected mayor for the region, leading a new mayoral combined authority, which would receive devolved funding for transport, education and business support, and could invest upwards of £95m a year in York and North Yorkshire. With such new levels of investment on offer, the 30 year deal could unlock growth and innovation and help tackle local challenges, such as affordable housing and low wages. It could also be used to support an ambitious target to be England’s first carbon negative region.

More specifically, the proposed deal includes:

  • £18 million per year in Gainshare funding over 30 years to invest in local priorities;
  • Subject to a full business case, investment of up to £50 million to support and deliver the York Central brownfield regeneration scheme;
  • £7 million investment to enable York and North Yorkshire to drive green economic growth towards the ambition to become a carbon negative region;
  • Investment of up to £2.65 million of projects to deliver affordable, low carbon homes;
  • £13 million for the building of new homes on brownfield land across 2023/24 and 2024/25;
  • A commitment to establish a working group to support the development of BioYorkshire;
  • New powers from Government to drive regeneration and build more affordable homes;
  • New transport powers to improve and integrate the regional transport network.

Following the announcement of the proposed deal, residents, businesses and stakeholders will now have the opportunity to review the detail of deal for the first time during the summer. The Council will also be engaging residents, businesses and stakeholders to communicate what this proposed deal could mean for the city, and what the next steps are.

The proposed deal would then be considered by all Councillors at Full Council, where they will be asked whether to proceed to public consultation on the Deal. If agreed, this public consultation could take place in October and through to December this year. Following the conclusion of that consultation, Councillors would then be asked to consider its feedback and whether to agree the deal at a future meeting of Full Council.

Council Leader, Councillor Keith Aspden, commented:

This proposed deal is a significant milestone on the journey to secure devolution for York and North Yorkshire, and is undoubtedly a historic moment for our city, given the significant investment and powers this devolution deal can potentially bring to York and the wider region.

“Given its significance, I would encourage everyone in the city to take the opportunity to look at the details of this proposed deal, which could secure tens of millions of Government funding annually to support the local economy, invest in local businesses, drive innovation, particularly around initiatives such as BioYorkshire, and help improve the lives of our residents.

“Devolution represents a real opportunity to secure significant investment and powers for York and North Yorkshire, but we recognise that the deal has to be right for York. That is why over the coming weeks and months, we will be engaging with residents, businesses and stakeholders to discuss the proposed deal, what it could mean for York and what the next steps are.

“This proposed deal has been agreed with Government, and North Yorkshire County Council, but will ultimately be considered by all Councillors at Full Council as to whether to hold a public consultation. If agreed by Councillors at that Full Council meeting, York businesses and residents will be invited to have their say on the details of the deal.”

Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Andy D’Agorne added,

A lot of work has gone into securing the best possible package of measures to help us address the challenges we face locally, including climate change and harnessing our regions strengths to enable our residents and businesses to have greater influence on how we can best respond to these challenges at local level.

“We now need to listen to the views of residents and businesses before final decisions are made on this deal, which has the potential to help boost investment in improved transport infrastructure and build more affordable and greener homes.”

Helen Simpson OBE, Chair of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

Devolution has the potential to unlock so many opportunities for our economy.

"This long-term investment will create significant economic opportunity and provides a chance to both address our challenges and realise the potential of York and North Yorkshire.

“We are the first genuinely city region and rural powerhouse deal and I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Mayor and our local leaders to make York and North Yorkshire greener, fairer and stronger.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York, said:

The proposed deal represents exciting progress towards securing devolution for York and North Yorkshire.

“Devolution is an opportunity to secure significant investment and powers for our region, which will help us to address many of the challenges we face locally and ignite innovation and growth.

“The support for BioYorkshire outlined in the proposed deal will play a crucial role in delivering the benefits of devolution. It will boost the partnership’s ambitious green agenda to create jobs, lift the regional economy and support North Yorkshire’s goal to become one of the first areas in the UK to be carbon negative.”

Professor Karen Bryan, Vice-Chancellor of York St. John, said:

The proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire has the potential to bring significant investment to the area.

"This presents an opportunity to further enhance skills, support innovation and driving sustainable economic growth and social justice in our region. York St John University is firmly behind these proposals, and we look forward to working with partners to help the community to maximise the benefit from the opportunities they bring.”

Laurence Beardmore, President on York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said:

We welcome the devolution deal and it’s obvious benefits for business to have a joined up approach for York & North Yorkshire in regards to business policy & support.

“The power of a single budget and purpose for the region will unlock the huge potential that exists, for example in terms of transport infrastructure projects to make all areas including the coast, rural areas and other major towns and cities and it will enable faster decision making powers for the things that count to the people of this region without often waiting on approval from Westminster.

“Being enable to engage on equal terms and for the mutual benefit with our larger devolved neighbours such as Teesside and West Yorkshire will quicken the Levelling Up process.”