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Levelling Up Secretary hails region's 'visionary local leaders' as West Midlands Deeper Devolution Deal confirmed

The Levelling Up Secretary and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street have signed a landmark deeper devolution deal for the region, marking a seismic shift in power, funding and responsibility from Whitehall to the region.

The University of Warwick hosted the ceremonial event today (Monday 20 March).

The deal announced in last week's Spring Budget puts more cash and power in the hands of local leaders to invest in the priorities that local communities truly care about, such as better bus and train services, skills and housing.

A new long-term funding settlement will enable the Mayor and local councils to plan for the long term, with certainty, and unlock tangible benefits for almost 3 million people living in the area.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “Visionary local leaders like Andy Street understand the needs of their areas better than decision-makers in Whitehall - that is why it is vital that we put more power and control in their hands.

“This deal goes further than we’ve ever gone before. It will give the Mayor unprecedented power to spend on local priorities and more control over transport, skills and housing – the things people truly care about.

“Today marks a bold new frontier in devolution in this country, and it’s fantastic to see the West Midlands right at the forefront.”

From left to right: Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor, and Robin Clark, Dean of Warwick Manufacturing Group

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, put their signatures on the West Midlands Deeper Devolution Deal

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “This is a truly landmark moment for our region as this Deeper Devolution Deal has resulted in Whitehall granting significant powers and funding to the West Midlands - recognising the importance of local leaders on the ground having greater financial autonomy and decision-making authority.

“Team West Midlands has worked incredibly hard to agree the best possible deal for our residents having earned the trust of Government thanks to our track record of delivery since the formation of the Combined Authority. Devolution is very much a journey and our task now is to work together to show the further trust placed in us is well founded.

“I want to pay tribute to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretary of State for Levelling Up for their vision and bravery in making this deal happen. Together, we can continue to improve quality of life for local people right across our region in the months and years ahead.”

Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, which hosted the Levelling Up Secretary's visit, said: “It is good to be able to support the hard work across our region that has led to this agreement. We’re proud to play an active role in driving business growth and innovation in the West Midlands, whether that’s through our apprenticeship programmes, support for start-ups, or our close partnerships with industry across the region.

"Our world leading research into new green energy and technology is an example of where we’re not only developing new businesses, skills, and jobs, but also helping the UK to reach its net zero goals.”

Read more about the Deeper Devolution Deal.