Derbyshire and Derby have been recognised as national ‘Levelling Up’ leaders with the Government announcing today that they had secured a County Deal set to bring substantial investment to the area.
Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, working alongside the eight other district and borough councils in the area, have been awarded ‘pathfinder’ status by the Government as part of the deal - one of the first to be awarded at county level.
Though figures have not yet been announced, the deal will bring extra investment to support economic growth in the area, alongside the transfer of specific powers from central Government to a local level in areas like transport, bus services, housing and skills, giving greater autonomy to local leaders over decision making and funding.
North East Derbyshire District Council Leader, Councillor Alex Dale said, “This is fantastic news for Derbyshire and Derby and we are looking forward to working with fellow district and borough councils, the City and the County to help make progress with the deal and deliver real tangible benefits to our collective residents”.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said the success would improve people’s lives across the county and city. He said: “Today’s County Deal announcement for Derbyshire and Derby is the result of significant and long-term work between councils and wider partners like the NHS and police with a shared focus on improving opportunities, growth and quality of life in our county through our collaborative approach.
“I’m delighted that the Government has recognised our unique partnership offer, and we welcome this significant investment in delivering levelling-up locally by those who know our communities best.
“Derbyshire has been at the forefront of this process over the last couple of years and it’s fantastic to see the hard work come to fruition with this announcement which demonstrates our national reputation as a county that delivers and stand ready to level up for Derbyshire and Derby.”
Leader of Derby City Council Councillor Chris Poulter said that the announcement was great news for the area, and that the councils now need to negotiate the right deal for the city and county:
“This is excellent news for Derby and Derbyshire. We’ve worked closely together to get our county deal on the table – a credit to our partnership working – and now the real work begins as we await conversations with Government officials to understand expectations and agree terms and timescales
“The councils included in the deal serve over 1.1 million people, and yet so many decisions that directly impact them are being made by central Government. A County Deal for Derby and Derbyshire is our opportunity to reflect our people and businesses through local level decision-making.”
More information is expected from the Government in the coming weeks.