Councils Hope For £1BN COVID-19 Recovery Funding

The North East’s seven councils are seeking more than £1bn over five years from the government to help support the region’s recovery from Covid-19. They want £100m a year for transport projects and the same for digital connectivity, sustained revenue funding to support public transport and investment in the East Coast Main Line and major road schemes. 

And they want more devolved powers to provide for integrated management of the transport network. 

All this would be aimed at supporting a ‘Connected North East’ vision and would be in addition to ‘significant devolution’ of resources and confirmation of existing business cases, including for Transforming Cities funding. 

The seven councils – so-called LA7 – are joined in their bid to the government by Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, and Kim McGuiness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. 

They say in a joint statement: ‘Our plans will give businesses back their viability and our workforce back their employability – a connected North East is the unifying solution. We have set out our ambitions clearly and hope ministers will work with us to ensure this region leads the country in economic recovery and is not left behind’.