Devolution deal confirmed for Hull and East Yorkshire
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the proposed agreement as part of the Autumn Statement, a further boost to the region after the West Yorkshire investment zone confirmed earlier this week
Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council will both consider the full proposed deal at meetings of full council in December.
Subject to councillors’ approval, a statutory public consultation will follow in January.
The deal would be expected to bring significant investment into the area, in line with preceding arrangements elsewhere in the regions.
If agreed, it would also mean the creation of a Hull and East Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, led by a directly elected mayor, who could be elected in May 2025.
Key aspects of the proposed deal include:
- £400m (£13.34m a year) investment funding over 30 years, to drive growth and deliver local priorities.
- Up to £15m in 2024/25 to support transport, flood and coastal erosion programmes across the area, including a coastal regeneration programme in the East Riding.
- £5m in 2024/25 to support local economic growth priorities, including any further expansion of Siemens Gamesa at Alexandra Dock in Hull.
- £4.6m for the building of new homes on brownfield land in 2024/25.
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund planning and delivery from 2025/26.
- New powers to shape local skills provision, including devolution of the core adult education budget.
- New powers to drive regeneration and build more affordable homes.
- New powers to improve and integrate the regional transport network, with a multi-million-pound integrated transport budget.
- A commitment to rail electrification between Hull and Sheffield, and Hull and Leeds, integrating East Yorkshire into the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.
Cllr Anne Handley, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “After months of hard work, I am absolutely thrilled that we can finally say we have a proposed deal and our residents can see what East Yorkshire devolution would really mean to them.
“I have said all along that a Mayoral Combined Authority is absolutely the right way forward for our region, but that it must be the right deal.
“I am confident we now have the right deal to begin our devolution journey and I urge everyone to get involved in the consultation and get behind this deal.
“Over time, we will be able to negotiate new deals, as other devolved regions have, ensuring we have more funding and power to make important decisions at a local level and put East Yorkshire in control of its own destiny.”
The eastern part of the region is the last to pursue the Combined Authority route, with York and North Yorkshire expected to have their deal rubber-stamped in Parliament before the end of 2023.
Cllr Mike Ross, Hull City Council leader, said: “I have always said that I would only want to proceed with a devolution deal for Hull and the East Riding if we felt it was going to be the best deal for the area.
“It is clear, after a lot of hard work putting the case forward for what this area needs, that we have managed to get the government to put forward a deal that will help meet the needs of the city and East Yorkshire.
“The region has been left behind when it comes to a whole range of government investment, which puts us at a real disadvantage to both the rest of Yorkshire and the country in general.
“By taking this important step, we will be helping boost jobs and growth, supporting our residents, local businesses and the city in general.
“I am also pleased that we managed to secure support for Siemens Gamesa’s world-leading offshore wind facility, as well as assurances that Hull will be part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail plans.
“There is a lot of work to do between now and when any devolution may take place, but I would urge everyone to look at what is being offered by the government and get behind the deal.
“This is a chance to help the area grow, something that Hull and East Yorkshire desperately needs and I am determined to help make happen.”
Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, added: “This historic devolution agreement between Government and Hull and East Yorkshire marks a step change for Levelling Up in the region.
“I am delighted that Hull and East Yorkshire will now benefit from the same powers and devolved budgets that their neighbours are already benefitting from.
“By taking decisions out of Whitehall and putting them back in the hands of local communities, this deal will enable Hull and East Yorkshire to unleash its full economic potential and build upon its strengths in manufacturing and health technologies.”
The proposed deal will be considered at extraordinary full council meetings, expected to be held on December 21, where councillors will be asked whether to proceed to public consultation on the deal.
If agreed, a public consultation, giving residents, businesses and other organisations the opportunity to have their say on each part of the deal.
Full details of the deal are available here.
The West Yorkshire Investment Zone is based around life sciences, and will focus on Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield.
The government said that revamped sites specialising in health tech and digital will open up around West Yorkshire, unlocking over 2,500 jobs and over £220m of investment across the region over the next five years.
Benefits include 100% stamp duty land tax relief, an enhanced structures and buildings allowance at a rate of 10% per annum, an enhanced 100% first-year capital allowance, employer National Insurance Contributions relief, and 100% business rates relief.
The Leeds Innovation Partnership said that zone status will accelerate plans for the Leeds Innovation Arc, kickstarting the development of the Innovation Village on the 12.5-acre Leeds General Infirmary site with the refurbishment of the Old Medical School to create a healthtech innovation hub.