City Deal could help Hull create jobs and boost growth
HULL is on track to win "radical" cash-raising powers to help create jobs and boost growth after the Government invited it to bid for "City Deal" status.
It comes as ministers asked 20 cities across England to come up with ideas to divert cash and power away from London.
The Government has already signed agreements worth millions of pounds with eight major cities, but today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced plans to extend the scheme to cities like Hull.
Mr Clegg said: "I want Hull and the Humber to come up with ambitious and innovative proposals to help them make changes that will be felt by everyone across their region."
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Cities Minister Greg Clark said it was "a big opportunity", and that he was "thrilled" that Hull could be part of the City Deals programme.
He said: "The Humber has huge potential economically, especially when you consider its geography, skills and heritage. Marine engineering is an industry that will have great global importance in future.
"It seems to me the best people to take major decisions on Hull and the Humber are those who live and work there, rather than people in London."
Hull and 19 other local authorities will be invited to draw up proposals stating what powers they want from the Government, and what they can offer in return – for example, the creation of new jobs.
Although City Deals can involve receiving Government cash for specific projects, it also means councils gaining more control over existing funds administered by Westminster, and making it easier to raise money from the private sector.
City council leader Stephen Brady said he was "very pleased" to be one of the 20 cities asked to bid, adding that it would be "a useful starting point to work out what a City Deal could look like for the Hull and Humber region".
Hull City Council has until January 15 to submit a bid together with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.