A devolution deal which will see £540million invested in North Yorkshire is set to be signed today.

The deal, which will see power transferred to a directly elected mayor in York and North Yorkshire, will be signed today (Monday) by levelling up secretary Greg Clark.

It had been hoped the deal would be agreed before the parliamentary summer recess started earlier this month, but has instead coincided with Yorkshire Day.

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It is the culmination of 20 months of negotiations and is the first of 13 devolution negotiations named in the levelling up white paper to come to fruition.

The mayor will have powers to invest in transport, housing, and education, and will be handed £540million by government over the next 30 years.

The devolution deal means that over half a billion pounds will be transferred from central government to York and North Yorkshire to be invested according to local knowledge.

York and North Yorkshire is the first city and rural region to see devolution on the scale enjoyed by the core city regions including South and West Yorkshire.

Levelling Up Secretary Greg Clark MP said: “Yorkshire Day 2022 is an historic one. It marks the return of powers and resources from London to much of the historic North Riding.

“Levelling up – driving prosperity and opportunity in all parts of Britain – is done best when people locally can forge the future of their area. This deal is a big step in that direction”.

The mayor will have control of a £540miilion investment fund over 30 years to drive growth and take forward local priorities. They will also have powers to improve and integrate local transport, including the ability to introduce bus franchising, powers to improve local skills, more than £22.6m to support the building of homes and powers to drive the regeneration of the area.

The mayor will also take on functions of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

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North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “The chance to secure a host of decision-making powers as well as bringing in millions of pounds of investment for North Yorkshire is a huge opportunity to shape the future of the county for many years to come. 

“Whether it is improving skills and education, bringing in more investment to the region or helping improve transport links and providing much-needed affordable housing, the deal will enable us to take far greater control of our own destinies.  

“An elected mayor representing both York and North Yorkshire would be a powerful figure to have a seat at the table for further negotiations with the Government, bringing real and tangible benefits to the region.” 

Leader of City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden said:  "This proposed deal is a significant milestone on the journey to secure devolution for York and North Yorkshire, and is undoubtedly a historic moment for our city, given the significant investment and powers this devolution deal can potentially bring to York and the wider region. 

"Devolution represents a real opportunity to secure significant investment and powers for York and North Yorkshire, from progressing crucial work on BioYorkshire, delivering York Central, or helping us become England’s first carbon negative region.   

“This proposed deal could unlock 30 years of investment to improve economic prosperity and long-term opportunities for all of our residents and businesses." 

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