The leaders of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council, Councillor Jonathan Owen and Councillor Daren Hale, have welcomed the government’s announcement that they will begin negotiations on a ‘County Deal’ devolution agreement for Hull and the East Riding.

The opportunity for a Hull and East Riding devolution deal was announced as part the government’s Levelling Up White Paper published today. The deal could unlock a multi-million-pound strategic investment in the region.

In March 2020, both councils confirmed their intentions to work closely together to progress a strong and ambitious case for a regional devolution deal between the two authorities.

The councils identified four key priorities in their business case:

  • Create an integrated low carbon transport network and ensure the continued success of our ports.
  • Increase productivity by providing our workforce with the skills needed for the future, as well as supporting innovation and competitiveness.
  • Promote inclusivity which creates economic opportunities for everyone, including tackling health inequalities and the persistent cycle of poverty and benefit dependency.
  • Deliver a sustainable future through clean energy generation, sustainable development, adaptation and resilience.

Cllr Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "East Riding of Yorkshire Council welcome the invitation from Government to negotiate a ‘County Deal’ for Hull and the East Riding. This could enable us to realise significant benefits for our residents, our businesses and our wider economy.

“Key themes and priorities have been identified to enable growth opportunities and benefits to a larger geographic area. We look forward to working alongside the government and our neighbouring authority to support future investment opportunities in East Yorkshire."

Councillor Daren Hale, leader of Hull City Council, said: “We are pleased that the government has today committed to working with Hull and the East Riding to start negotiations for a ‘County Deal’ for our area. We have been pressing for local devolution for a number of years and our latest proposals were submitted to government last September, laying out a compelling case for devolution to Hull and East Yorkshire.

“We want to work with government to focus on our economic growth opportunities and shared priorities. Our commitment to formally work together brings with it the benefits of a larger geographic and more diverse area and our proposals are very ambitious, so that we could punch above our weight as one of the smaller devolved regions.

“Our proposal is not for a Mayoral deal, because our area is too small, but for a strong Combined Authority chaired by one of the council leaders on a rotating basis.

“Focusing on the key themes of connectivity, productivity, inclusivity and sustainability, we now look forward to progressing our discussions with government over the coming months.”