1. ITV Report

Budget 'good news for the North East'

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivering his budget speech. Photo: ITV News

People living across the North East are set to benefit from investments in housing, health, transport and technology following today's Budget.

Announcements specifically for the North East include:

  • A North Tyne devolution deal including £600 million of extra funding. The new combined authority, which will be led by a directly-elected mayor, will choose how to spend this money on local priorities. An inclusive growth board will be set up to ensure all 815,000 people living and working in the area benefit from the economic growth this creates.
  • £337 million of investment to overhaul the Tyne & Wear Metro system, replacing the 40-year-old trains with a brand-new fleet.
  • £59 million for transport improvements to be determined by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to connect people to jobs and make journeys quicker for everybody. Other towns and cities across the North East will be able to bid into an £840 million fund to support transport projects in their area.
  • Newcastle will become home to a Tech Hub, supporting businesses and skills in the area to thrive and prosper. This is part of a national expansion of Tech City, and the region will receive a share of £21 million to support this.
  • The government will provide £5 million to help enable the South Tees Development Corporation to take ownership of the SSI Redcar Steelworks site, and will work with local partners to prepare the site for development.
  • An extra £4 million boost to spending on flood defences including in Northumberland. This builds on the £26 million recently invested in the Morpeth flood alleviation scheme, which was completed last year and protects more than 1,000 local homes and businesses.

The Chancellor says there are more people in work in the North East than ever before, with an employment rate at a record high (72.7%). In the last year, the region has had the fastest productivity growth (+11.8 ppt) and rise in in household gross income (+3.9 ppt).

As new technologies create new opportunities and better jobs, the Chancellor says everyone must benefit. The Budget includes a boost for skills to give people living across the North East the training they need to succeed and get the highly-paid jobs of the future.

The Budget also backs the NHS, will help tackle the housing crisis, drive innovation and capitalise on the changing nature of the UK economy.

Today’s Budget sets out how we will build an economy fit for the future through driving innovation, creating better paid jobs and building the homes this country needs.

The investments I have announced today back the North East with a significant cash boost for transport improvements to connect people to jobs and make journeys quicker for everybody right across the region.” Since 2015, over £273 million has been committed to individual military charities and other good causes. This Budget’s award of £36 million continues the provision of banking fines to Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities and other related good causes, and takes the total committed since 2012 to £773 million.

– Chancellor, Philip Hammond

The Government has today announced funding for a new Metro train fleet, in the form of a commitment to provide £337 million made in the Chancellor’s budget speech.

I don’t need to tell you how important this is for Metro, public transport in North East England and our whole economy.

I would like to thank you for your support in a campaign that truly united our region, bringing together Metro passengers, the business community, politicians from all parties, the media, and many other friends and partners.

Together we have been able to show the value we place on transport infrastructure as a means to drive the economy and growth.

Today is also a vote of confidence in what Nexus delivers, through our on-going investment programme in Metro’s infrastructure, the roll-out of smart ticketing and our plans to further extend and develop Metro and local rail services.

We will now begin a demanding but exciting programme to choose a supplier and see trains designed and built to enter service from 2021.

– Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director, Nexus