The first draft of a devolution deal for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has been unveiled outlining the benefits of proposed extra powers. Drawn up by the 19 local authorities from across the region, the bid has been renamed "North Midlands" at the request of government, and would bring new homes and jobs, increase investment in infrastructure, and improved support for growing business and adult skills.
Anne Western, leader of Derbyshire County Council, said the "size of the prize" for the region cannot be stressed enough.
The ten key benefits that the deal could bring are:
- 55,000 new private sector jobs;
- 77,000 extra homes;
- an Investment Fund over 30 years to drive a step change in infrastructure;
- adult skills provision that better meets labour market needs;
- a consolidated transport fund to deliver certainty over key transport priorities;
- a better coordinated public transport offer to citizens and business;
- more responsive and coordinated business support offer;
- the delivery of substantially more apprenticeships;
- more people entering employment through better targeted local programmes; and
- improved journey times from Nottingham and Derby to London to less than 90 minutes.
The deal document is accompanied by a strong message urging the Government to sign off negotiations around the deal at the earliest possible date, and the green light is now awaited from Chancellor, George Osborne and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark. Anne Western says "We've been working with the government to finalise a deal for some time now and discussions have been extremely positive. Both sides are clearly committed to an agreement and there's no reason to delay any further."
The bid has been renamed as "North Midlands" to more accurately reflect the geographical area covered and will be able to align with the same name for a combined authority.