Gateshead Liberal Democrat Leader Frank Hindle has welcomed the new City Deal for the NewcastleGateshead area, which is expected to create 13,000 new jobs on Tyneside and see thousands of new homes being built on brownfield sites in Gateshead.
In a real boost to Gateshead, one of the four sites included in the 'Accelerated Development Zone' is Gateshead Quays and Baltic Business Quarter, where the planned new international conference and exhibition centre will be built. Increased revenues from the development have been ringfenced for the next twenty-five years - meaning money that is generated in Gateshead will be reinvested in Gateshead.
Other items in the deal include the rollout of superfast broadband, £1.7m extra to help unemployed young people into work or training and £150m to redevelop Gateshead's town centre.
Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Frank Hindle said: "This City Deal is a great deal for NewcastleGateshead and the wider North East region. Liberal Democrats on both sides of the river have lobbied government and worked with Labour colleagues to back the bid that has now been approved.
"The news that 13,000 new jobs will be created on Tyneside through the City Deal is fantastic. Gateshead has a crucial part in the scheme, and having Newcastle and Gateshead Councils work together in partnership on issues like youth unemployment and housing will help to deliver real improvements for both Gateshead and Newcastle.
"Liberal Democrats have long argued that money raised through taxes locally should be spent locally, and we are happy to see the ring-fencing of business rates in this deal - as it will be for twenty-five years, it will allow both Newcastle and Gateshead to be ambitious in investing for the long term future.
"Overall, the City Deal programme is a real win from the Liberal Democrats in government. It is a clear sign that we believe in our cities and are prepared to back up our beliefs by investing and handing back powers from Whitehall.
“NewcastleGateshead being selected to be part of this programme is a real endorsement of what Tyneside's economy has achieved in recent years and of the area's potential to be an engine of growth in the future, not just for the North East but for the country as a whole."