Through the West of England devolution deal, significant powers and responsibilities will be devolved to the West of England Combined Authority, to help deliver sustainable economic growth.
This deal will see more decisions being made locally on topics such as transport, housing and skills and could help to create more local jobs and build new housing faster.
A new West of England Combined Authority (WECA) will be established in early 2017 and elections will be held for a new West of England Mayor on Thursday 4th May 2017.
Benefits of the deal include:
- £1 billion of investment to deliver infrastructure to boost economic growth in the region. Government will provide £30m a year over a 30-year period, with additional funding expected from other sources.
- The new WECA will also gain full responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018/19, helping ensure that adult skills provision meets the needs of West of England businesses and learners.
- There will be enhanced powers for the WECA to speed up delivery of new housing in line with the Joint Spatial Plan and resist unsustainable developments that are not in line with jointly agreed planning policies.
- The deal also enables the three West of England councils to participate in a Business Rates retention pilot, which allows them to retain 100% of business rates rather than the current 50%.