'A landmark moment for region's economy'
BOTH political and business leaders have hailed the decision to provide the Humber region with more powers to control its own economy.
The Government has confirmed more powers will be devolved from Whitehall.
The region's City Deal bid has cleared its first hurdle by securing initial ministerial approval, making it one of 20 to be offered the chance to use new financial and planning powers under the new programme.
They will follow eight city regions awarded the same status last year.
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The deal would be overseen by a board made up of council leaders and two business representatives, one of which will be Lord Haskins, chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
He said: "This is a landmark moment for the area's economy and rounds off a year of achievement for the LEP.
"We have really started to build up a head of steam securing the largest Enterprise Zone in the country along with £65m of Regional Growth Funding.
"City Deal status will allow important decisions to be made locally through power devolved to the region and aid in the delivery of our five-year plan along with our work on Lord Heseltine's pathfinder proposal for new pioneering ways of economic development."
City Deal would be a landmark step area after securing Enterprise Zone status, offering incentives for businesses to set up in the area.
The focus in the Hull and Humber region will be on skills funding and speeding up the planning process.
Both are being seen as crucial to attracting investment from the renewable energy sector.
Leader of East Riding CouncilCouncillor Stephen Parnaby said: "The progression of the Hull and Humber region's bid for City Deal status is welcome news and an excellent example of how the four councils are working together with the local business community and LEP for the benefit of their residents.
"We now welcome the opportunity of working with the Government to negotiate a deal that will see the devolution of powers and funding to a local level.
"This will mean, collectively, we can deliver economic growth across the whole of the Humber region and help fulfil its ambitions in becoming the centre of the renewable energy sector in the UK."
Hull City Council Councillor Steve Brady hopes the deal will boost employment in Hull.
He said: "I am delighted the City Deal is being progressed and, along with the Heseltine review, will help to speed up development and inward investment.
"In turn this will create more jobs in Hull and provide skills and training opportunities for people in the city, as well as across the wider Humber region.
"The City Deal is a positive step forward in creating a sustainable future for Hull and the Humber."
Negotiations for the City Deal will take place over the coming months and are anticipated to be complete by the summer and the City Deal secured thereafter.
A board featuring the leaders of the four councils around the estuary and representatives from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership is expected to be set up to oversee City Deal programme.
Announcing the latest City Deals, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Rather than let our industries and communities wither, we need to free up cities outside of London that have their own unique selling points."
Cities Minister Greg Clark visited Hull last month.
He said: "City Deals are a quiet revolution in the way Britain is governed.
"Rather than London laying down the law, cities have the right to do things their way.
"The stories of their own futures will be as individual as their unique histories."