WE'VE always been trailblazers in the North East – that’s how we were built.

We innovate and we push forwards at a rate no one else can match, so it is rewarding to see the Chancellor give us a "trailblazer" deal which means extra money and powers for the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority.

It suggests that as a region, we are being trusted to show how devolution and Levelling Up can work as we come up with truly impressive ideas that are difficult to turn down.

The only puzzle is why the Chancellor chose to introduce so much obfuscation in delivering the good news. He could have ticked the ‘North’ box by clearly delivering the money directly to the astonishing Crown Works Studio project and walked away with applause ringing in his ears, but he didn’t mention Leo Pearlman’s project by name – and there has been a lot of conversation about it leading up to the announcement – choosing instead to give the money to the NEMCA for whatever it chose, knowing that Leo would be top of their list.

But no matter – we shouldn’t care how tortuous the route is as long as we get the tools we need to change how the region is run and take control of our own destiny.

So a simple ‘thank you’ to the Chancellor means we can immediately start putting his investment to good use, giving the Government the return on investment that it will be looking for to ensure continuing support for the North East.