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Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has announced a historic devolution deal for the North East.

A landmark devolution deal has been announced for the North East that will see a new elected mayor given fresh money and powers to level up the region.

Local leaders and mayors across the whole North East welcomed the news in a joint statement:

"This is a significant step towards securing important decision-making powers and investment for our region. This would allow us to make decisions that reflect local needs and invest wisely into projects that will make a difference for all our residents, communities and local economy.

"There remains a process for all councils and combined authorities to consider the details and a public consultation before a final decision is made.

"We are pleased that we have successfully negotiated a proposed deal which is a step towards reaching our ambition for this region. This is an important milestone in our journey and we will now engage with stakeholders to move the deal to the next stage".

Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University, said:  “Durham University warmly welcomes the news that County Durham will be joining the other six North East local Authorities in the £1.4 billion devolution deal announced today.

“County Durham has a strong and diverse economy worth £8.8 billion. The move will bring together the economic strengths of Durham County with that of the broader North East region. This will enable Durham University to support business and skills more readily within the region. It will also enable strong and powerful collaboration with our university partners, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland, to deliver innovation support at scale.

“We look forward to continued engagement with the Durham County Council and our other partners in the region, including its universities, to support the delivery of growth and prosperity at scale.”

Find out more

  • Read the full media release: Historic £1.4 billion devolution deal for North East - GOV.UK (
  • In December, Durham University published an independent economic impact report in which the University was shown to contribute £1.9 billion to the UK economy. Of this, £668 million GVA and nearly 11,000 jobs are in the North-East region. See:

  • The Northern Accelerator is an excellent example of how, together, the North East universities have made a step change to how they commercialise their research, resulting in the creation of 34 new spinouts in the past four years. The universities, working with partner Northstar Ventures, are now raising a £75 million investment fund, “Venture North”. This is set to transform the funding landscape for partner university spinouts.

  • A second example is the Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP). This has worked with North East university partners to embed research students in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region to develop new services and products for market.