Plans to hand the North East a host of greater powers to shape its economic future have taken a step forward.
Members of the North East Combined Authority, which brings together County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils, have agreed to move to the next stage of devolution negotiations with the Government.
Chairman Coun Simon Henig said: “Talks today on a devolution offer from Government have been going well.
“Reaching a deal takes time, but leaders have all agreed to move forward to the next stage of negotiations and are all determined to reach an agreement that is good for the North East.
“Leaders will continue to seek further consultation with the public and other stakeholders and acceptable outcomes to the spending review and legislation currently before Parliament.”
The negotiations focus on the potential devolution of powers, funding and responsibilities relating to the economy, investment, transport, jobs and skills.