Devolved areas to north and south continue to see investment flow in, while the North East looks on enviously and receives comparatively little.
Northumberland is to get a share of £450m over ten years from a Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal supported by the UK and Scottish governments and local contributions. Among schemes to benefit will be a new Berwick Theatre, visitors experience and distillery and a play village at Alnwick Gardens.
While this is not part of Northumberland’s North of Tyne devolution deal with Newcastle and North Tyneside, it is part of a deal signed by the two governments with a group of councils – which in this case also includes Carlisle, Cumbria, Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders.
Meanwhile, Tees Valley continues to build on its success in winning a freeport and port infrastructure for offshore wind projects by attracting the UK’s largest hydrogen project with a deal between Tees Valley Combined Authority and BP. The scheme, according to BP, will provide 20% of the UK’s hydrogen target by 2030 and could support the development of an industrial hydrogen cluster on Teesside.
However, Durham and South Tyneside, with other parts of England including Northumberland and Tees Valley, will be in the first wave of areas to have ultra-fast broadband delivered to the most remote homes and businesses.
And all local authorities in the North East region apart from Darlington and North Tyneside have been placed in the top priority for a share of the government’s £4.8bm Levelling Up Fund for local infrastructure throughout the UK. In England, councils will have to bid for the money, which will be paid out between now and 2024-25. According to Rishi Sunak, Chancellor, in England the funding will be allocated to local authorities most in need of levelling up.