THE North East of England could become the latest region to have a directly elected mayor — as the Government announced a £1.4billion devolution deal.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the plan would bring fresh powers over skills, transport and housing across areas including Northumberland, Newcastle and Sunderland.
Mr Gove said: “I’m proud to have agreed a historic new devolution deal with the North East that gives local leaders more power, more money, and an even greater say on how their areas are run.
“Devolution is all about letting leaders who live and breathe the region decide what is in their best interests, for their people and for their businesses.
“A new mayor will ensure local priorities in the North East are at the heart of decision-making, while our billion-pound funding boost will provide the financial certainty needed to level up the area right now and for years to come.”
Elections for a mayor could take place in May 2024 following a consultation process.
The deal would deliver the cash over 30 years.
It comes on top of a promised £17.4million for new homes on brownfield land, and another £20million for regeneration projects.
The move was hailed as a “significant step” by local politicians.