Wider Devolution Programme Update


Report of the Chief Operating Officer, York and North Yorkshire LEP











This report provides an update on implementation of the commitments within the York and North Yorkshire Devolution Deal, excluding the Brownfield and Net Zero Funding which are covered in a separate paper.



2.0     BACKGROUND         


2.1     Within the York and North Yorkshire Devolution Deal, published August 2022 there were a range of commitments across:


o      Finance and Investment

o      Education and Skills

o      Housing and Land

o      Transport

o      Net Zero, Climate Change and Natural Capital

o      Public Service Reform

o      Resilience and Public Safety

o      Culture and Tourism

o      Digital

o      Innovation, Trade and Investment.


2.2     Work to progress these commitments is taking place across both City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council, the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and several government departments/agencies.


3.0       Finance & Investment.


3.1       Mayoral Investment Fund

·                Development of set of priorities (Economic Framework),

·                5 Year Gateway Assessment & Evaluation Framework

·                £9m received Dec 23; £18m pa from May 24


A project is underway, led by the York and North Yorkshire LEP, in collaboration with City of York and North Yorkshire Economic Development Teams to develop an economic framework and economic intelligence hub. This collaboration will develop a clear set of priorities alongside baseline economic data against which the five year gateway will be assessed.


3.2         Shared Prosperity Fund

·                Est. £13m pa subject to CSR

·                The MCA will lead local planning and delivery of the SPF from 2025/26.


The current Shared Prosperity Funds are being delivered by City of York and North Yorkshire Councils. Development of the prospectus for 2025/25 will not be required until 2024/25.


3.3         Wider financial instruments including borrowing powers

Agreement of borrowing powers cannot be agreed until the Mayor is elected and in office. No work underway at present.


4.0     Skills & Education


4.1     Adult Education Budget (from academic year 2025/26)

1.         Government will consult with York and North Yorkshire on a funding formula for calculating the size of the grant to be paid to the York and North Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

2.         statutory tests must be met.

3.         Learner protection arrangements are must be agreed between parties.


A joint working team across City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council and the LEP is in place. Advice from other MCA’s Is to allow at least two years to become ‘Investment ready’. Early discussions have been held with Department for Education and Education Skills Funding Agency regarding to provide clarity around the parameters of the fund. It is expected that local match funding will be required to secure the capacity funding from Department for Education.


. Activity has included:


•           Fact finding involving discussions with colleagues at North of Tyne MCA, West Yorkshire MCA and Tees Valley MCA to understand what works well as these all currently have devolved AEB

•           Discussions with learning providers and in particular the Further Education colleges. This looked at those that already access AEB from other areas and also lessons learnt. Early involvement and engagement with the learning providers is essential moving forward.

•           The working group has recommended development of a framework of skills needs and provision in the area. This will help to align the existing skills strategies across York and North Yorkshire. The intention is to develop this further over the coming months so that partners have a good understanding of the current skills landscape.

•           Project Plan being drafted setting out the process and key stages in establishing an operating model for AEB in York and North Yorkshire.



4.2     Local Skills Implementation Plans

York and North Yorkshire will support and provide input into the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for the area.


City of York and North Yorkshire Council sit on the LSIP Board and Steering Group alongside the LEP who are also providing an evidence base funded through the Skills Advisory Panel, established and funded within LEPs.


5.0     Housing & Land


5.1     £12.7m Brownfield Funding – See separate paper for details.


5.2     Future Pipeline

York and North Yorkshire and Homes England are committed to working collaboratively – combining their skills and capacity – to develop a pipeline for the region. This will be underpinned by a clear Action Plan.


City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council have long established relationship with Homes England. Homes England are working proactively with both Authorities to agree a model for joint working.


5.3     York Central Enterprise Zone Extension

City of York have submitted a business case and HMT ministers have now given provisional agreement to an extension of the York Central Enterprise Zone, subject to the agreement of a final business case including in relation to the length of the extension. Discussions are ongoing to secure the final details.


6.0      Transport


6.1     The Joint Officer Working Group has now met a total of six times and at the latest meeting a workshop was held on the development of proposals for the Key Route Network. A paper is to be developed for consideration which will allow the Joint Committee to approve the KRN for York and North Yorkshire and it is planned to bring this paper to members in Autumn 2023.             


6.2     Work also continues on the development of the Local Transport Plan with national guidance still yet to be published but expected in March 2023. The timetable for devolution dictated that we were not able to wait for the guidance to be published before starting work on the LTP however, officers are confident that the work to date is all in accordance with the anticipated guidance. The County Council is planning to commence a consultation exercise towards the end of March 2023 as part of the ‘Lets’ Talk…..’ series and the programmes for both local authorities will merge in the Autumn.


6.3     Work on the development of a joint major schemes pipeline and Strategic Highway Asset Management Plan continues.


7.0      Net Zero, Climate Change and Natural Capital


7.1      £7m Net Zero Fund – See separate paper

7.2      Single Conversation with Government

The York and North Yorkshire LEP maintain an ongoing relationship with the Yorkshire & North East Energy Hub which is hosted by Tees Valley Combined Authority. This includes an embedded post within the YNY LEP. Given the changes at a national level (creation of a new Department or Energy Security and Net Zero) not further national engagement until greater clarity is received.

7.3      The Government will also explore the opportunities and feasibility of investing to pilot an innovative approach to funding smaller scale feasibility studies in a predominantly rural area, creating a recyclable investment model.

No progress made to date.

7.4      Government commits to explore the potential benefits of and design options for a place-based approach to delivering retrofit measures,

City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council and the LEP have been collaborating to develop proposals linked to local housing retrofit and supply chains. No engagement with government at this stage.

7.5      Natural Capital Investment Plan

York and North Yorkshire have submitted a bid to DEFRA to participate in a Local Investment in Natural Capital pilot programme. If successful, this will include:

·         developing a Natural Capital Investment Plan,

·         Building a pipeline of investment proposals; and

·         Co-designing of a local investment vehicle and accelerator

A decision is expected March 23.



8.0         Public Service Reform

8.1       No further discussions until the MCA is established.


9.0         Resilience and Public Safety

9.1       Once established the MCA will become a member of the Local Resilience Forum


10.0       Culture and Tourism

10.1     Culture & Heritage

·         Develop and deliver strategies to realise the region’s cultural potential, using the new combined authority as an opportunity for a strategic appraisal of the current culture and leisure provision

·         Work with Arts Council England and other local partners to identify how the CA can support an increase in cultural opportunity in the Selby District Area (‘Levelling Up for Culture’ place)

·         Take forward the recommendations of the Celebrating our Distinctive Heritage report (including the direction of investment spending towards agreed priorities).


Through Local Government Reorganisation North Yorkshire Council have appointed a senior post to lead culture and heritage. In City of York, Make it York take the strategic lead. Once in place, joint working and collaboration will be explored working jointly with the government Arms Length Bodies.


10.2     Tourism

·         Work with DCMS to explore the best structures and geographies for future Destination Management and Marketing interventions.


North Yorkshire Council and Make it York are collaborating and working with Visit England to explore and develop future tourism structures in the region.


11.0       Digital

Government will engage with the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority on a regular basis, on delivery plans in the region.


Responsibility for digital infrastructure has moved to the newly formed Department for Science, innovation and technology.   The priorities of the new department include:


Promote a diverse research and innovation system that connects discovery to new companies, growth and jobs – including by delivering world-class physical and digital infrastructure (such as gigabit broadband), making the UK the best place to start and grow a technology business and developing and attracting top talent.


A relationship with the new department will be formed once it is fully established with structures in place.


12.0     Innovation, Trade and Investment


12.1     BioYorkshire

A cross department working group including Innovate UK and UKRI is established and in place working with the BioYorkshire Steering Group (University of York, FERA Science, Askham Bryan College, City of York Council & YNY LEP).


Work in underway to refine the BioYorkshire proposal developing a clear routemap whilst engaging with the new government departments linked to national initiatives such as Innovation Clusters and Innovation Corridors.


12.2     Scarborough Cyber Security Cluster

Scarborough Borough Council, Coventry University (Scarborough) and Plexal have been working collaboratively to develop the cyber proposition for North Yorkshire. Pilot activity is currently planned to engage both communities and industry which will further shape the proposition and enable engagement with the new government department for Science, Innovation & Technology.


13.0     FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS            


13.1     There are no negative financial implications for both local authorities. Where costs and capacity are required they will be considered through the Mayoral Capacity Funding.


14.0     LEGAL IMPLICATIONS                   


14.1     No legal implications at this stage.


15.0     CLIMATE CHANGE IMPLICATIONS                      


15.1     None at this stage, however the work on net zero should have a positive impact in the medium term.




16.1     No equalities implications are anticipated at this stage.




17.1   No Decisions are sought.








This is an update paper and no decisions are sought at this point.





James Farrar, Chief Operating Officer, York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership