Kim McGuinness calls for “real, long-term investment” following Spring Budget

Written by on 7th March 2024

North East mayoral candidate Kim McGuinness has called for “real, long-term investment” in the region following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget announcement.

In the Budget, announced on Wednesday, Hunt made a brief mention of the North East’s “trailblazer” devolution scheme.

A 37-page document outlined that the region would see funding for a Sunderland-based TV and film studio Crown Works Studios which Fulwell 73, creators of the Netflix series “Sunderland ‘Til I Die” said will “create 8,450 jobs in the North East”.

Reacting to the Budget announcement, McGuinness said: “Today’s devolution deal is a big step forward for our region.

“After years of being behind Manchester and others, we’re finally on an even footing. That’s down to our council leaders demanding a better deal from Government.

“But we can and we must go further and faster. We are ambitious in this region and we want to lead.

“Too many decisions about the North are still taken in London, people here want control of their own long-term decision-making, and that’s what I’m fighting for.”

The chancellor’s trailblazer announcement also includes £58m funding for maintenance and renewal of the Tyne and Wear Metro system for the next two years, expansion of the Pop card onto local rail services and support for the region’s rural and coastal economy.

2PENCD3 Jeremy Hunt MP (Con: South West Surry) Chancellor of the Exchequer, leaving Downing Street to deliver his first budget, 15th March 2023

On the Metro’s funding, McGuinness said: “We see the Government’s long-term failure to back the North East most clearly when it comes to Metro funding.

“There was no funding for Metro expansion and instead just two more years of short-term stop-gap funding, can anyone getting on a Metro today honestly say that all our problems will be solved with just two years of one-off funding?

“We need real, long-term investment and we need to hand North East people the power to say where this funding goes.

“While the funding for Sunderland’s film studio is a welcome start, it is just that. A start. The initial bid needed £200m of investment, and we need firmer assurances that the rest of the funding will be available.

McGuinness, Labour candidate in the North East mayoral elections added: “Only a Labour Mayor working with a Labour Government gets us real devolution.”

2JGHEHA Labour leader Keir Starmer is greeted by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness before giving a speech at the Sage Gateshead culture centre, where he set out setting out how his Labour government will move Britain forward.

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