Devolution deal done
After years of debate on the geography, Rishi Sunak confirmed during today’s Budget that a West Yorkshire devolution deal has been agreed, as announced by TheBusinessDesk.com this morning.
The deal which will provide £1.1 billion of investment for the area over 30 years, will see the region gain a directly-elected Mayor from May 2021.
The region will also gain significant new decision-making powers on transport, planning and skills. With the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating the deal “is an important step in delivering on our levelling up agenda by giving power and investment to local areas”.
As part of the deal the government has also stated it will provide £500,000 to support Bradford in its regeneration and development plans in order to increase the benefits of potential Northern Powerhouse Rail connections.
During his time at the despatch box, the Chancellor also confirmed that the new West Yorkshire mayor alongside the other seven Mayoral Combined Authorities would receive five-year funding settlements for ambitious plans, such as a renewal of the Sheffield Supertram and the development of a modern, low-carbon metro network for West Yorkshire.
In a joint statement, West Yorkshire leaders said: “We have secured an ambitious deal recognising the strong case we have made for investment which delivers growth benefitting all our communities and helps us tackle the climate emergency. It also represents a significant transfer of power from Whitehall, ensuring more decisions that affect our communities are taken here.”
Russell Turner, Managing Partner, Garbutt + Elliott, commented: “Confirmation of the West Yorkshire devolution deal announced in the budget is great news for businesses in the region. This deal will be seen as a great opportunity for West Yorkshire business leaders to influence decision making at a macro level and play a key role in the continued growth of our regional economy, from which everyone will benefit.”