By Marcus Leach

Cities Minister Greg Clark will visit Newcastle today (Thursday) to continue talks on forging a new city deal in the area.

The Government announced last week that England’s largest cities, including Newcastle, are being offered new powers as the basis of bespoke city deals.

Government will free cities from Whitehall control in a number of areas to give local communities more flexibility, access to new opportunities and help to stimulate growth across the country.

Greg Clark will visit the North Eastern local enterprise partnership and Enterprise Zone, and hold discussions with local leaders from Newcastle City and Gateshead councils about putting together a successful deal that will see Newcastle given powers to jumpstart local growth.

“Newcastle is one of the country’s economic powerhouses and we are giving the city the freedom it needs to meet its potential and get it firing on all cylinders," Greg Clark said.

“I want to work closely with the local enterprise partnership and local councils to agree a new deal that will successfully drive growth across the North East.

“I have no doubt about the ambition of local leaders in Newcastle to get this right, and I am determined that powers and tools are handed down to them to grow their economy."

With all city deals, the city must guarantee that they can provide strong and accountable leadership, improve efficiency and outcomes, and be innovative in their approach.

The first wave of city deals will focus on the eight largest English cities outside London and their local enterprise partnerships. The Government will look to roll this process out to other cities in due course.

Newcastle recently received funding from the second round of the Regional Growth Fund, which will create growth and a significant number of jobs in the North East.

The Neptune Energy Park project will support brownfield remediation, infrastructure development works and factory construction on part of the former Neptune Ship Yard on the River Tyne. And Central Gateway will improve access to key development sites in central Newcastle.

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