A historic transfer of money from Westminster to the North East took place after the signing of a devolution deal between the government and leaders of the region's councils.

The deal awards the incoming North East mayor and cabinet more control over transport, housing, and skills.

It also earmarks over £100 million of new funding to invest in local priorities.

The North East 'trailblazer' devolution deal mirrors the core powers agreed with West Midlands mayor Andy Street and mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

This agreement was introduced recently by chancellor Jeremy Hunt during the Spring Budget.

It builds on the £1.4 billion investment fund inked by secretary of state Michael Gove in January 2023 and the £160m North East investment zone revealed during the Spring Budget.

Levelling Up minister Jacob Young said: "I’m delighted to sign this landmark deal which will deliver transformational change across the North East.

"This is a significant step forward in our mission to level up, and I want to thank all the leaders who have come to together to make it happen.

"Devolution is all about handing local communities the keys to their own future, with decisions taken by the people who know their areas best.

"Today the North East takes back control."

Hexham Courant: 'Today the North East takes control back'

The region will receive £37m of flexible funding for remediation of brownfield sites and acceleration of regional projects.

This includes £25m assigned to the Crown Works Studios site, £10m to plans for a health innovation neighbourhood in Newcastle, and £2m to projects such as the North East Green Superport.

Seven council leaders across the North East said: "Today’s event marks another welcome shift in power from central government to the North East.

"This trailblazer deal will help us deliver on our ambitions, working with our communities on the things that matter most to them.

"We are strongest when we all work together and we are already seeing the benefit of that collaboration."

The government also plans to designate a ‘growth zone’, allowing North East local authorities to retain 100 per cent of business rates growth for the next 25 years.

Devolution deals are planned for every part of England that seeks one by 2030.