- Prime Minister to hold Cabinet meeting in the North East for the first time
- £780m investment in East Coast Main Line to be confirmed – giving passengers more seats and faster, more frequent journeys
- Government will lay legislation to make £600m North of Tyne Devolution Deal a reality – giving people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland a real say in their future
Investments in transport and science alongside positive developments in a historic devolution deal for the North East were set out this week as the Prime Minister hosted her Cabinet meeting in Gateshead.
Discussions at the Cabinet meeting focused on implementing the Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy, making sure the Government delivers a Brexit deal works for every corner of the UK, and discussing the pivotal role of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in boosting growth and prosperity across the Northern Powerhouse.
As part of the Government’s commitment to overhaul transport in the region, the Prime Minister confirmed an investment of up to £780 million for major upgrades to the East Coast Main Line from 2019, to be completed in the early 2020s.
The work will take place over the next few years and will see significant improvements to platforms, tracks, signals and junctions across the route. Together with new Intercity Express Trains on the East Coast Main Line, this will mean passengers travelling on long distance journeys between northern towns and cities will benefit from more seats and faster, more frequent journeys between Doncaster, Leeds and Newcastle.
Building on the Government’s devolution agenda for the Northern Powerhouse, the Prime Minister also confirmed that Government will lay the legislation to formally conclude the North of Tyne Devolution Deal with Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside. The deal, which marks an unprecedented transfer of powers from central Government to local people in the North of Tyne, is worth £600 million over 30 years and is expected to generate 10,000 new jobs in the region.
Alongside this, as part of the wider economic transformation of the North East, Theresa May announced a further investment of £180 million to drive forward innovation and cutting-edge research in the field of Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation and the High-Value Manufacturing Catapults, which has major facilities in the region.
Today’s announcements reaffirm the Government’s commitment to position the Northern Powerhouse at the heart of its work to spread growth beyond London and the South East across the entire country, and to build a more prosperous and inclusive economy where everybody has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Making Britain a country that works for everyone, in urban and rural regions, is a priority for my Government – and a thriving economy across the Northern Powerhouse is central to that.
“We have set out major policies and investments as part of our Modern Industrial Strategy to unlock the potential in the North – and more than any government in history, we are making sure that we are delivering the outcomes that really matter to people who live and work here.”