Hull and East Yorkshire Combined Authority Proposal December 2023


  1. Executive Summary

  2. Why we want Mayoral Combined Authority for Hull and East Yorkshire

  3. The Case for Change

  4. Our Local Economy

  5. Our Principles for Devolution

  6. Our Vision and Ambitions

  7. Our Strategic Themes and How our Deal Helps us Deliver Against Them

  8. Continued Pan Humber Working

  9. There Will Be More to Follow

  10. Governance Arrangements

  11. Implementation and Interim Arrangements

  12. Timeline

  13. Appendices


Executive Summary

Hull and East Yorkshire has had a long-standing ambition to improve the economy for the area.

Devolution provides the opportunity to build on a long and successful history of partnership working between Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council to deliver a real step-change.

This proposal sets out the case for devolution of powers and funding from Government to Hull and East Yorkshire. Together with Government we have negotiated a deal that will provide £400m of additional funding to help harness the potential of the area and help to create economic opportunities for everyone. This deal proposes the creation of the Hull and East Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) which covers the area of the two local authorities.

Establishing an MCA is a formal, legal step, allowing closer working on key priorities such as connectivity, productivity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

The creation of a Hull and East Yorkshire’s MCA would not result in the merger or take-over of councils but supports delivery of improvements across the whole area.

Delivery of devolution from Government to Hull and East Yorkshire will:

  • Provide new and additional money and resources to invest in our economy, communities and places, with the promise of more in future spending cycles.

  • Support for accessible jobs to be created addressing the long-term challenges for people living in the area particularly in our more deprived communities such as parts of Hull, Goole, Bridlington and Withernsea.

  • Increase local decision-making on investments affecting our area.

  • Create new and enhanced relationships with Government helping to directly influence decisions affecting our area.

  • Provide the certainty for more investment by the private sector in the area.

A Mayoral Devolution Deal offers the opportunity to leverage our sectoral strengths in the transition to a more productive, low carbon economy whilst levelling up the living standards and economic opportunities for our most deprived communities.

The current deal on the table is the first rung on the devolution ladder. In future, if this proposal is supported, Hull and East Yorkshire would work towards further devolution giving greater benefits for the area.

Hull and East Yorkshire is the last part of Yorkshire to negotiate a devolution deal.

Hull and East Yorkshire is the last part of Yorkshire to agree a devolution deal with Government.

Proposed HEY MCA Surrounding Combined Authorities

HEY and its immediate hinterland – West Yorkshire MCA, South Yorkshire MCA, North Yorkshire MCA. North and North East Lincolnshire are part of the proposed Greater Lincolnshire MCCA

What's in the Deal

  • The formation of the Hull & East Yorkshire MCA, and the election of a directly elected Mayor to provide overall vision and leadership, seek the best value for taxpayer’s money, be directly accountable to the area’s electorate and to receive new powers on transport, housing and skills. This comes with £2 million of Mayoral Capacity Funding over 3 years (2024/25 – 2026/27) to support the implementation of the deal.
  • Control of a £13.34 million per year allocation of investment funding, worth £400 million over 30 years, 35% capital and 65% revenue, to be invested by the Hull & East Yorkshire MCA to drive growth and take forward its priorities over the long term. This is a flexible investment fund that will be used to invest in local priorities across skills, innovation and business support, as well as to invest in capital projects on a strategic and long-term basis across our connectivity and place-based priorities. It would also provide collateral to plan major investments whilst responding to unforeseen opportunities that align with the MCA’s investment priorities. In addition, UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) planning and delivery at a strategic level from 2025/26, subject to funding, policy and delivery considerations at the next Spending Review.
  • Up to £20 million capital funding in the current Spending Review period to support our economic growth priorities as well as transport, flood and coastal erosion programmes across the area, a brownfield employment programme in Hull, and a coastal regeneration programme in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This funding will provide a vital injection to bring forward schemes that are ready to go, supporting our vital industries to expand, relieving pinch points on our roads as well as helping to address some development challenges.
  • New powers to shape local skills provision to better meet the needs of the local economy and local people, including devolution of the core Adult Education Budget, as well as input into the new Local Skills Improvement Plans.
  • £4.6 million for the building of new homes on brownfield land in 2024/25, providing essential funds so we can continue to build new homes in places where people need them, along with new powers to drive the regeneration of the area and to build more affordable homes including compulsory purchase powers and the ability to establish Mayoral Development Corporations.
  • A commitment for Government to consider the development of a specialist med-tech business park in Hull, including exploring support for Phase 1 of the project, subject to further discussions; and support for expanding Offshore Wind manufacturing in the area.
  • A commitment to rail electrification, cutting trans-pennine journey times.
  • Responsibility for a consolidated local transport settlement for the Hull & East Yorkshire MCA, along with new powers to improve and better integrate local transport, including the ability to introduce bus franchising, and control of appropriate local transport functions commitment to explore a new rail partnership with Great British Railways, once established, so their priorities can be taken into consideration in future decisions regarding their local network.
  • Closer working on pan-Humber matters, with Observer representation from Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero on the Humber Energy Board, through which they will support the development of a Net Zero Strategy
  • A collaborative partnership to share expertise and insight across culture, heritage, sport, communities and the visitor economy.

Why we want a Mayoral Combined Authority for Hull and East Yorkshire

Devolution offers the opportunity to leverage the area’s sectoral strengths in the transition to a more productive, low carbon economy, whilst improving the living standards and economic opportunities for our most deprived communities.

Both Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils, together with Government, and other key stakeholders have been working together to achieve a devolution deal which will seek to establish a Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) – this gives access to the greatest levels of both powers and funding through devolution.

A Combined Authority is a single institution that works across a functional economic area with powers and funding to address strategic issues including transport, skills, economic development and regeneration. Hull and East Yorkshire is one of the country’s most self-contained areas, which means that the whole area will benefit from the features a combined authority brings, such as increased investment and integrated policy. An MCA is a new body, it does not replace either Hull or East Riding Councils.

A Hull and East Yorkshire MCA will build on a long and successful history of partnership working between the two authorities such as the £25.7m Regional Growth Fund Green Port Growth Programme; strategic management and delivery of the Local Growth Fund; the 2014-20 EU Structural Funds programmes for Humber and York/North Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the innovative Living with Water partnership, and aligns to the Economic Growth and Workforce Wellbeing Strategy (2021) the combined area’s first dedicated economic strategy.

In recent years, working with major private and third-sector partners, we have successfully collaborated to deliver. These initiatives have pioneered new delivery approaches and policy development across a range of economic development interventions, but with a particular focus on our combined strengths in sustainable energy generation, flood risk and environmental management, and water-sensitive regeneration.

The establishment of the Combined Authority will also be accompanied by strong joint working arrangement with both our Humber and wider Yorkshire partners, as detailed later in Section 8. This reflects our strong economic linkages and dependencies with our neighbouring local authority areas and will ensure we remain an outward-looking area that works collaboratively with regional partners to support sustainable and inclusive growth.

There are several examples of where places have successfully implemented devolution deals and elected Mayors, such as Manchester and the West Midlands. Both of these places have gone on to negotiate deeper devolution with more funding, greater powers and autonomy. The deal on offer to Hull and East Yorkshire has been negotiated as the first step on the ‘devolution ladder’ with the expectation that there will be further, enhanced deals in the future. Section 9 has more details.

The Case for Change

Establishing an MCA requires a legislative process. Before an MCA can be established, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities needs to be satisfied that to do so is likely to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of some or all of the people who live or work in the area. Also, the Secretary of State considers that to do so is appropriate having regard to the need:

  • To secure effective and convenient local government, and

  • To reflect the identities and interests of local communities

In addition, the Secretary of State also has to be satisfied that establishing an MCA will achieve the purposes in the proposal and that there is no further consultation required.

In developing the deal, the Councils must have considered four core tests or principles which underpin the devolution framework as outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper 2022:

  1. Effective leadership - A directly elected Mayor, covering the whole area, will unlock significant long-term investment and secure key powers to support economic growth, with greater freedom to decide how best to meet local needs and create new opportunities for people and business, in order to ensure that the benefits of devolution are fully realised across the region.
  2. Sensible geography – Hull and East Yorkshire has a very high level of self-containment, particularly in terms of the labour market, the property market and voluntary and community sector infrastructure. Our travel-to-work area has one of the highest levels of commuter self-containment in the country, with 87.9% of residents in employment both living and working in the area.
  3. Flexibility - The Deal recognises the unique needs and ambitions of the Area in its proposed governance, funding, and policies. Its approach is based on the expectation that more will follow, that this is the first ‘rung on the ladder’ of devolution.
  4. Appropriate accountability – Both Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Council have a long history of joint working and have committed to developing a Constitution and Assurance Framework that will confirm, clarify and formalise the intention of institutions and local leaders to continue to be transparent and accountable, work closely with local businesses, seek the best value for taxpayers’ money and maintain strong ethical standards. This will build on the work both councils have done as lead authorities/accountable bodies for various public/private sector partnerships.

Case for Change

Both Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council are seeking to strengthen and formalise joint working and collaboration, enabling both councils to work more closely together with Government and the neighbouring Mayoral Combined Authorities to enhance their collective impact on economic growth. However, in creating an MCA, there is a risk that a new layer of local governance could bring increased bureaucracy and cost, duplication or overlap of services, leading to inefficiency, as well as the possibility for political discord. It is essential, above all else, that an MCA for Hull and East Yorkshire is efficient and effective.

Formal, democratic arrangements would create a clear and effective platform for accelerating economic growth in Hull and East Yorkshire with strategic decision making.

In the current financial climate, with significant pressures on local government budgets, which are set to continue in the medium term, it is imperative to have governance arrangements in place that are efficient and reduce both duplication and the timescales for delivery of investment in economic growth. However, it would not be correct to assume that the new funding available through the Deal could offset any shortfall in local government financial settlements.

An alternative arrangement will represent clear and co-ordinated governance for Hull and East Yorkshire and will form the foundation for an ambitious devolution deal for the area.

There are limitations with the current arrangements, these include:

  • There is no single formally constituted body with responsibility for strategic economic growth across the area.

  • The current arrangements rely heavily on informal partnership working, mutual interest and collaboration.

  • Decision making is fragmented and time consuming because of the need for both councils to align separately.

  • The current governance arrangements are not sufficient to meet the ambitions of Hull and East Yorkshire in terms of longer-term funding for economic growth.

  • Long term strategic planning is fragmented which could be improved if considered across a single economic area.

  • There is no vehicle to provide a single, coherent response to major, national infrastructure investments such as strategic road and rail projects.

  • There are no formal arrangements for binding decisions on strategic land use planning to be taken collectively, impacting on investor confidence.

  • There is no single, strategic commissioning body to drive and deliver locally led solutions to improve the delivery of skills training and development across Hull and East Yorkshire.

Our Local Economy

Hull and East Yorkshire is home to over 610,000 people, with a diverse and dynamic economy.

Located on England’s East Coast, Hull and East Yorkshire provides a direct gateway with Europe through the ports, meaning that transport connectivity is critical to improving our productivity.

Hull sits at the centre of the area surrounded by the East Riding and the Humber Estuary, with the River Hull connecting its industrial heartlands to the port-related industries. The surrounding rural and coastal setting of East Yorkshire extends some 30 miles to the north, east and west, with the coast and estuary each extending over 50 miles.

Hull connects with the suburban villages within East Riding of Yorkshire’s administrative area including Hessle, Kirk Ella and Willerby, and Cottingham to the West, and Bilton to the East, forming a continuous built-up area.

Hull and East Yorkshire are tightly connected though employment, trade, and culture, 87.9% of people in employment live and work in the area. However, it is an area of significant contrasts. Hull has a high population density and tight urban grain, averaging 3,730 people per square km (2021 Census); making it the 17th most densely populated area outside of London. Conversely, East Riding’s population density is much lower with a larger, more rural and coastal geography averaging only 142.4 people per square km. However, even this hides the variations across Hull and East Yorkshire, with 91% of the East Riding geography classed as rural, but 69% of the population live in areas classified as urban.

Hull and East Yorkshire

Hull and East Yorkshire

Our economy represents 10.1% of Yorkshire and the Humber region’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and 3.5% of the North’s output with an annual GVA output of £13.425bn (2021) and home to 20,610 businesses (2023). Our key sectors punch above their weight across many performance metrics, including their productivity and employment contribution. However, critical challenges remain.

Overall productivity in Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire is below the national average, sitting at 81.9% and 89.7% of that average respectively, with rankings of 319th and 213th (out of 362 localities) respectively in the 2023 UK Competitiveness Index.

Production industries, which include the agriculture, food manufacturing, energy, mining and advanced manufacturing sectors, are critical to the UK’s overall export competitiveness. They account for 28.2% of our GVA (2021) – the largest share of any MCA economy, and almost 2 times the UK average (14.3%).

The area also has a nationally significant concentration of manufacturing; accounting for 22.2% our GVA – more than double the UK average (9.8%). Transport and logistics represent another key sector, reflecting our locational advantages and importance of the ports of Hull and Goole, which processed 9.91 million tonnes of freight in 2022 (79% inward freight and 21% outward freight).

Hull and East Yorkshire also supports a wide range of innovative agricultural, agri-tech food processing and food manufacturing businesses which are closely linked to the global food system. In productivity terms, the sector is 2.5 times more productive than the UK average (2021). Some of the country’s largest food manufacturing and processing businesses are located here, supported by a long and deep supply chain. Agricultural operations range across all sizes with almost one third of farms being over 100 hectares. Fisheries operations are small, but collectively provide one of the largest shellfish catches in the UK. The tourism and cultural sectors are similarly diverse and of vital importance to coastal and rural areas. The digital sector is growing rapidly from a base of smaller companies, exploiting the area’s digital capability.

The area has seen growth in employment in technologically led sectors such as green energy production and medi-tech and is home to global names such as Siemens Gamesa, Smith and Nephew, Reckitt and others. These sectors significantly contribute to the area’s productivity and are critical to the UK economy.

Our area has a stable population and workforce, with an employment rate at 74.8% (Year to June 2023), higher than any other MCA area with the exception of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and the West of England. However, the median annual salary for jobs in our area is amongst the lowest of all MCA areas (comparable to Tees Valley and the North East) and around 90% of the national average (2022). The relative lack of higher paid job opportunities also limits our ability to retain and attract high skilled workers.

We face the structural challenges of a persistent low skill, low wage economy in some areas, which is limiting the economic prosperity of our communities. Nearly a third (28%) of Lower layer Super Output Areas (LSOA) in Hull and East Yorkshire are within the 20% most deprived nationally under the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019, and overall qualification levels throughout our area remain below the national average. Only 32.7% of our population is qualified to NVQ4+ (2021), compared to 43.2% in England and that figure reduces to only 24.8% in Hull.

Hull and East Yorkshire also faces particularly high patterns of deprivation and benefits dependency which is focussed in Hull, Goole and along our coastline. This is highlighted, in Hull, where the average healthy life expectancy of residents is significantly below the current state pension age.

Residents experience around 22 years of ill health; with poor health driven by poor lifestyle behaviours (e.g. weight, physical activity, smoking etc), and resulting lifestyle related illnesses.

Our Principles for Devolution

An MCA model provides joint governance arrangements for key growth levers such as strategic transport, skills and economic development, which allow for strategic prioritisation across its area and integrated policy development. Recognising that increasing productivity is the only sustainable way to drive economic growth and improve living standards, establishment of the MCA for Hull and East Yorkshire is built on the following guiding principles:

  • Ambition – to unlock significant additional long-term funding and powers to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth, giving the area greater freedom to decide how best to meet local needs and create new opportunities for people and business. Investment, including devolved funding, delivered across the whole area, ensuring that everyone can benefit from devolution, with pooling of strategic funding and resources. This will build on Hull and East Yorkshire’s track record of growth through the delivery of the Government’s fiscal growth policies and programmes, including for example Enterprise Zones, Local Growth funding, Town Deals and Levelling Up funds.
  • A focus on strategic economic opportunities at the MCA level, ensuring that it creates a cost-effective tier of local government for strategic planning and delivery across our area. Operating strategically, the Hull and East Yorkshire MCA will create efficiencies through the pooling of resources where it is practical to do so. The existing Hull and East Riding Unitary Authorities will remain and collectively with the Mayor will form the MCA. Neither authority's functions will be removed and where functions or resources are to be shared with the Mayor and the MCA, it will be agreed with each of the constituent authorities. The Hull and East Riding Unitary Authorities will continue to work collaboratively with other local authorities to deliver their objectives, particularly across the Humber and along the East Coast.
  • Streamlined and robust governance arrangements, bringing together existing activities to create greater coherence. It will be a streamlined and strategically focused body which builds on an excellent track record of joint working and delivery and comprise the following four key elements:
    • A directly elected Mayor for Hull and East Yorkshire with a clear economic leadership remit, including skills, business support and inward investment, strategic planning, strategic transport, tourism (destination management) and other shared services that support economic development.

    • An MCA based on having a shared vision and focus on economic, social and environmental challenges and opportunities. Council Leaders are committed to ensuring high standards of governance and transparency in developing our strategic aims for growth, delivering interventions across Hull and East Yorkshire.

    • A commitment to continued pan-Humber collaboration to support growth in sectors where joint working makes most sense, such as ports, energy and offshore wind, estuary management including flood management (e.g. the Humber 2100+).

    • LEP transitional arrangements, including the formation of a strategic skills hub, that optimise the use of existing funding and secure the ongoing delivery of Growth Hub services.

    • A newly formed Hull and East Riding business advisory board.

Our Vision and Ambitions

Our vision and ambitions for devolution have been developed against the background of the scale of the challenges and opportunities we face in driving productivity and economic prosperity whilst also decarbonising our economy and improving its ability to adapt to climate change. The breadth of our proposals reflect the diversity of our area.

Through dynamic, forward-looking and confident leadership, backed by increased and pooled financial resources and a well-embedded partnership with Government, our MCA will help us to work collectively as an area to deliver a new sense of pride and ambition, and promote Hull and East Yorkshire as a vibrant, culturally rich, outward-looking and sustainable place to live and do business.

Our Devolution Deal will enable us to deliver our shared visions for sustainable and inclusive growth, including:

  • Capitalising on our existing assets, including our world-leading digital infrastructure, to make our businesses more competitive and more productive, and change our economic trajectory.

  • Investing in people and enabling talent to increase access to economic opportunity, and in turn reduce local levels of under-employment and narrow our local productivity gap. This will help to grow our local economy by enabling more residents to deploy skills in higher paying jobs and help our area to fully contribute to levelling up the UK.

  • Supporting innovation and business growth in our key sectors to enhance their competitiveness and increase productive across our economy. This includes fostering increased R&D and commercialisation and creating a dynamic climate for the creation and development of microbusinesses and SMEs across all sectors.

  • Raising living standards for everyone, based on well-targeted, long-term interventions delivering balanced and inclusive growth, making use where appropriate, of the existing community-led approaches we have embedded.

  • Focusing on work/life/leisure balance for our residents, with easy access to the services of a city and with great connections between the city and East Yorkshire’s rural and coastal hinterland, and to the rest of the country.

  • Maximising the opportunities of a changing climate and driving the economy to Net Zero whilst fully deploying the expertise within the Living with Water Partnership.

  • Enable healthier and more content communities.

Informed by the existing policy evidence-base we have developed with Humber and Yorkshire partners, we have identified the need for step-change intervention across four, integrated strategic themes:

  1. Enhance connectivity to create an integrated low carbon transport network, ensure the continued success of our ports and Freeport and develop our world leading digital capabilities to support collaboration and new ways of working.
  2. Increase productivity by providing our workforce with the skills and job opportunities needed for the future as we transition to a zero-carbon economy as well as supporting business innovation and competitiveness.
  3. Promote inclusivity with creates economic opportunities for our most deprived communities and provides decent homes for all, addressing the persistent cycle of poverty, poor health and low aspiration.
  4. Deliver a sustainable future through clean energy generation, sustainable development, climate adaptation and resilience, and a strategic approach to harnessing our natural capital assets.

Our Strategic Themes and How our Deal Helps us Deliver Against Them

Theme 1: Enhance Connectivity

Strong connectivity is vital to the health of our economy and the economic prosperity of our city, towns and rural and coastal communities. Achieving strong connectivity hinges on the performance of both our transport and digital networks to provide our residents and businesses the necessary access to employment and trade opportunities, within Hull and East Yorkshire, across the UK and internationally.

To realise a step change in connectivity, improve mobility and achieve our overarching objectives for inclusive, sustainable growth we need a transport network that is reliable and efficient, and one that works in tandem with high quality and wide-spread digital connections. This is especially important given the rural nature of parts of our geography and relatively dispersed population, which can make physical access between settlements or to major centres slow and difficult.

Against this background, the deal will help us to achieve our ambitions:

  • Build an integrated, low carbon transport system that improves mobility, links city, coast and country, improving journey time reliability, reducing the cost of accessing work, services and trade for our residents, businesses and visitors.

  • Develop a trail blazing walking and cycling network helping to decarbonise our transport system as well as improve health and wellbeing.

  • Enable multi-modal freight handling that reduces costs for businesses and consumers, with improved connectivity to the Humber ports and international markets.

  • Strengthen interregional and international links beyond our boundary through strategic road and rail connections, including rail electrification and direct access to an international air hub.

  • Extend our leading-edge digital connections to hard-to-reach areas, supporting the growth of all our businesses and the prosperity of all our communities.

    How our proposal helps us to deliver

  • The MCA will become the Local Transport Authority for the area and develop a single Strategic Transport Plan. As the single entity with responsibility for transport, the MCA will be able to take a strategic approach to deliver an integrated transport system. The MCA deliver a provisional Local Transport Plan (LTP), which will be supported by DfT investment. In the run up to the Spending Review in 2024, Hull and East Yorkshire will work with Government to ensure the LTP meets the necessary benchmarks for funding.

  • We will be responsible for our own multi-year consolidated local transport budget, bringing maintenance funding and integrated transport block together.

  • A Key Route Network will be identified which will ensure the most important local roads are managed in a strategic way, reducing congestion and improving traffic flows.

  • Electrification will improve rail links to major towns and cities across the North, with further enhancements to frequency, capacity, and journey times, including the electrification of the North Trans-Pennine Rail Corridor. Government has committed to electrification between Sheffield and Hull and Leeds, as part of the commitment to bring Hull into Northern Powerhouse Rail, realising a long-term ambition for the area.

  • Enhanced partnership working with Transport for the North through its Regional Centre of Excellence, support to develop an electric charging infrastructure strategy.

  • Delivery of the appropriate infrastructure into the Ports of Hull and Goole and their respective tax sites.

  • Facilitating improved digital networks with the ambition to be the UK’s first Smart MCA.

Theme 2: Increase Productivity

Hull and East Yorkshire’s growth sectors punch above their weight across many performance metrics, including their productivity, and levels of innovation. Hull and East Yorkshire is home to a number of world class Research and Development (R&D) facilities, including Reckitt’s global R&D HQ. Siemens Mobility and Siemens Gamesa, Smith and Nephew, INEOS, Croda, Crown Paints, Ideal Boilers and many other household names have all invested in their manufacturing and R&D capabilities locally. The Humber Freeport also supports medi-health technology projects, catalysing on proposed investment plans within this sector.

The area is a national leader in specialist caravan and mobile home manufacturing, and home to some of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, supported by the agri-food sector, which provides an asset base and raw materials that underpin several key clusters that strengthen the area’s economic performance, including food and drink, and ports and logistics. Stimulating greater levels of innovation and farm diversification is key in maximising growth in this sector, especially for the benefit of our rural communities.

Supporting the expansion and competitiveness of our growth sectors is key to realising and achieving the transition to a high-value, low carbon economy. The Humber Freeport is key to this by providing the opportunity to address some of our productivity challenges alongside delivering skills for the future. Complementary investments will fully secure its long-term success.

Against this background, our long-term priorities for the Devolution Deal are:

  • Raising productivity and resilience of our high employment and high competitive advantage sectors

  • Strengthening our competitive advantage in sectors of high productivity

  • Nurturing and growing employment and innovation

  • Creating a dynamic climate for the creation and development of microbusinesses

  • Supporting everyone into employment or self-employment

    How our proposal helps us to deliver

  • Working with UK Research and Innovation and other partners, we will leverage areas of business specialisation and fostering innovation through enhancing quality of place and providing fit-for-purpose, energy-efficient business premises; increasing R&D, commercialisation and innovation activity in our area; and providing consistent and effective business support services, utilising UKSPF strategic investment plans.

  • With local control over our Adult Education Budget (AEB) and building on the legacy of the Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP) by establishing a strategic skills hub, we will have more power to equip and upskill our people for the future economy through comprehensive post-16 provision that is tailored to the needs of our area and enhancing study programmes, traineeships, bootcamps, Multiply and apprenticeship-based training and careers advice.

  • Develop our advanced manufacturing capabilities with a focus on medi-tech, building on local specialisms, such as the University of Hull’s research facilities and the Hull York Medical School, alongside digital technologies and opportunities.

  • Support for the expansion of Offshore Wind manufacturing in the area to secure the industry’s long-term future in the area.

  • Ensure the Humber Freeport provides employment opportunities and pathways to employment for the local community through an expansion of the Employment Hub.

  • Further develop the digital sector, exploiting the unique, world leading digital assets and opportunities the area offers.

  • Formal collaboration with Government on culture and tourism.

Theme 3: Promote Inclusivity

The area’s economic strategies highlight key challenges and objectives for our area in delivering greater economic inclusivity and sets out how these interact with key national policy objectives. Our ambitions for inclusive economic growth in Hull and East Yorkshire are to level up our communities and ensure that all our people can benefit from, and contribute to, the growth and prosperity of our area. There will be a particular focus on supporting people back into a learning environment and enabling the development of functional skills to ensure opportunities become accessible for all. This will build on the well-established partnership work with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Community and Voluntary Services (VCS) evidenced through initiatives such as the Employment hub and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programmes.

Social cohesion is relatively strong across our area, but we also have some of the most extreme variations in economic prosperity in the country and key challenges related to inter-generational worklessness and path dependency. In our area, individuals growing up in areas with a high proportion of workless households are 25% more likely to be unemployed than individuals growing up in working households. Health inequalities and an ageing workforce are also major challenges and underline the need to retain and attract younger workers with the skills and adaptability to respond to economic opportunity.

Against this background, our priorities for the Devolution Deal are:

  • Community investment to ensure the provision of quality, energy efficient, safe and affordable housing, directly tackling energy poverty as well as promoting pride of place, which is an essential component to wealth creation and reducing the burdens of anti-social behaviour, crime and poor health.

  • Whole-place regeneration which prioritises measures to re-purpose our city and town centres, ensuring they provide a coherence and appeal to local people, investors and visitors alike, and provide the appropriate springboard for community-focused neighbourhoods.

  • Investment in heritage and cultural assets to strengthen community ties and provide new sources of economic opportunity.

  • Raising people’s aspirations through access to employment and training initiatives for young people and those furthest from the labour market, providing them the skills they need to take-up jobs in our emerging higher-value sectors and ensure that the widest possible breadth of the community can reach their economic potential.

    How our proposal will help us to deliver

  • Local control over the AEB to help provide the skills businesses need, including upskilling and employability programmes. Closer working with DWP will help us to deliver a long-term transformational employment programme for some of our most deprived communities which brings together different funding streams to deliver in a more sustained and holistic way. This will be focused on delivering change over a generational timeframe rather than through a short term 3-5 year project window.

  • We will use place-based funds and MCA powers and functions, including brownfield land funding, to provide new homes for people in places where they want to live and can access employment opportunities.

  • The MCA will have a duty to take action to improve the health of our communities, this means that the health of the population will be a strategic consideration in decision making, reducing inequalities and linking wealth with health.

  • More support and partnership working for culture, heritage, sport and tourism to help our communities thrive.

  • Improving connectivity for isolated places, including digital connectivity and inclusion.

Theme 4: Deliver a Sustainable Future

Sustainability underpins the previous three themes as well as offering new opportunities to make more use of our natural capital and develop a low carbon economy. We recognise the importance of not just ensuring new sustainable development, but of decarbonising our existing economy, to reach net zero targets and adapt to climate change. Capitalising on the value of our blue green infrastructure and the area’s strengths in energy and environmental management are critical components of this.

The area is already tackling climate change and working towards net zero. The Humber is one of the highest emitting regions in the country and Hull and East Yorkshire is at the heart of the solution.

The Humber Freeport focusses on green energy with rail innovation at Goole and green energy and decarbonisation in Hull.

We have an excellent track record of local initiatives to identify risks and investment opportunities in climate change adaptation and carbon reduction, particularly focused on flood-resilience through the internationally recognised Living with Water Partnership and decarbonisation of our existing housing stock and buildings. We have taken the lead on local and regional flood risk management issues, tackling complex problems beyond our statutory local authority duties.

The Hull and Humber City Deal 2013 led to the establishment of a ‘Single Conversation’ with all the relevant agencies in order to balance environmental considerations with development opportunities, particularly associated with the Enterprise Zone sites along the Humber estuary.

The work of Hull and East Yorkshire MCA will therefore focus on locally responsive measures for sustainability. Our priorities for the Devolution Deal are:

  • Continuing to build our resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change;

  • Ensuring the effective stewardship and protection of our natural capital;

  • Promoting low carbon living and development through an effective planning system and low carbon energy solutions; and

  • Using low carbon investments to create higher-value job opportunities for our communities.

    How our proposal will help us to deliver

  • Working with Government to build capacity and capability for delivering place-based natural environment and climate adaptation interventions, including developing a climate adaptation hub that promotes an integrated whole area approach, building on the work of the Living with Water and Changing Coast initiatives, to support climate vulnerable communities.

  • Closer working with Government, to develop and deliver innovative net-zero and low carbon interventions, including a Local Area Energy Plan, heat network zones, and retrofit measures.

  • Prioritising local nature recovery in decision making and implement nature based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation.

  • As the highest emitting part of the country, the Humber will see Government commitment to CCUS and representation of the Humber Energy Board.

  • Greater autonomy to work towards a low carbon local transport system, supported by our digital ambitions for a ‘smart’ MCA.

Continued Pan Humber Working

The creation of the Hull and East Yorkshire MCA and a new Greater Lincolnshire County Combined Authority will herald a new era in local governance for the Humber area, and brings to an end years of uncertainty. The creation of the Humber Freeport in 2023 provides further economic incentives for businesses to invest in the Humber with a focus on attracting the advanced energy sector and driving the Humber to a Net Zero outcome. The pathway for decarbonisation across industry is mapped out in the Humber Industrialisation Cluster Plan.

The Humber Estuary is an important shared economic and natural asset for Hull & East Yorkshire, the Northern Powerhouse and the wider UK. It is home to one of the UK’s largest industrial clusters, including energy-intensive chemicals, process and manufacturing businesses; the UK’s largest ports complex by tonnage; and internationally significant wetlands and habitats.

Over recent years, the Humber Energy Estuary has been integral to the expansion of the offshore wind sector and is now leading the way on plans for industrial decarbonisation. Meanwhile, the ongoing development of the Humber 2100+ strategy is essential for protecting communities and industries around the estuary from rising sea levels and the second highest flood risk after the Thames.

Leveraging this unique asset will be important for Hull and East Yorkshire’s future economic prosperity, but the Humber Estuary is also a shared resource that must be managed responsibly by the many different stakeholders involved. Many opportunities require collaboration across the Estuary to be realised – whether it’s the construction of the major infrastructure needed to support industrial decarbonisation that needs scale to be viable, or the further growth of the offshore wind sector, with complementary offers in Hull and Grimsby. Similarly, because what happens on one side of the Estuary affects the other, management of flood risk and investment in natural capital needs to be co-ordinated.

Recognising this, local authority and business leaders are working together to ensure that the progress the Humber has made over the last decade continues and can be strengthened as Hull and East Yorkshire and Greater Lincolnshire move towards new devolved arrangements. A new Mayoral Joint Committee will be formed, comprising the two Mayors representing the Humber, Council Leaders and local business representation. This new arrangement will lead a strong and enduring approach to pan-Humber working.

There Will Be More to Follow

Many places already have devolution deals, some, such as the Greater Manchester deal, were first agreed almost ten years ago. Over time, existing deals have been extended and areas that have agreed deals have been first in the line for additional funding for key growth areas such as transport. In the 2023 spring budget, both Manchester and West Midlands were awarded ‘trailblazer’ deals.

This was to pave the way for greater devolution and local autonomy for those areas with local institutional capacity and commitment.

At the present time, a Level 3 deal is the most lucrative deal a new area can get, but new Level 4 deals are on the horizon which, based on the trailblazers, will see areas receive enhanced flexibility over transport, skills, housing and net zero local growth budgets – a single pot approach. Authorities need to meet a ‘readiness’ test which means not every place will get a Level 4 deal. Level 4 deals were announced is the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (Nov 2023). To have a chance of receiving greater benefits, places need to already have a deal in place. Nationally, devolution is supported by both political parties.

The deal currently on the table for Hull and East Yorkshire is the first rung on the devolution ladder. Our sights are firmly set on what comes next, a Level 4 deal. Having greater control over the key drivers for economic growth and associated Adult Education budget to ensure job opportunities benefit those most distanced from employment, along with additional funding, with a single or ‘consolidated’ pot approach is a real prize. Chasing separate Government funding pots and reporting on them is extremely resource intensive for both authorities.

Our priorities for further devolution, once our MCA is established, include:

  • To deepen our work with DWP, particularly to focus on our ambitions for a work guarantee to help meet our inclusion ambitions.

  • We would wish to see more funding for bootcamps and careers support to support people entering the workforce and support for digital inclusion, with the ultimate ambition being a consolidated long term funding pot.

  • Funding for our retrofit programme, we have delivered extensive improvements in Hull, but there is a great deal more to do.

  • Support for our businesses, particularly focussing on our R&D strengths, including developing investment zones and further support for our medi-tech hub.

  • Support from the affordable homes programme to ensure we have sufficient good homes in the places people want to live so they can access employment opportunities.

  • Deeper, joint working on flood risk and climate adaptation and resilience.

  • More freedoms and flexibilities with spending and additional funding for transport as well as place-based funding through the consolidated pot to reduce the intensity of chasing funding.

  • Further support for the expansion of our digital infrastructure to cover our full area.

  • More investment and support for our work on natural capital.

Governance Arrangements

Our aim is to establish our Combined Authority as a ‘thin tier’ of strategic leadership and in the most cost efficient and effective way. Both Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils will retain their current functions and powers except for transport, where the MCA will take the responsibility, working with the councils.

There is no intention to grow the MCA into a large and unwieldy additional organisation. Legislation requires MCAs to have four Statutory Officers, a Monitoring Officer, a Section 73 Chief Finance Officer (for finance), a Scrutiny Officer and a Head of Paid Service. With the exception of the Scrutiny Officer, these statutory roles could be fulfilled by officers from the two Constituent Councils with the MCA being staffed and/or supported by officers from the constituent councils and any partner organisations.

As Upper Tier Unitary Authorities, both councils are confident in their strong governance and strategic leadership credentials. In addition, we already have a formal Joint Leaders’ Committee for the area that will act as the Shadow Combined Authority through the MCA’s implementation phase.

We propose an MCA consisting of:

  • A Mayor.

  • Four Members, two from each Local Authority and up to four non-constituent (non- voting) members, which will include one to represent the business community and one will be the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

  • Decisions will be based upon a simple majority with each Member having one vote, including the Mayor. In certain circumstances, for example, where a decision may have a material effect on one Council area, such as a financial or planning matter, that Council must vote in favour. More detail on voting is included in the Appendices to this Proposal.

  • The Mayor will hold certain powers related to housing and planning, economic development and regeneration, finance, adult education and skills, transport and health. These powers are held concurrently with the councils, apart from the powers relating to transport. This means that, other than transport, the MCA will work concurrently with both councils.

  • The Hull and East Yorkshire Combined Authority will be accountable to its residents and will provide high profile leadership. It will have its own scrutiny and audit arrangements which will ensure that the Combined Authority is fully transparent and properly held to account for its decisions.

The implementation of the MCA will require the Government to pass the requisite legislation to create the MCA. The constituent councils will have to appoint Members to the Combined Authority. The constituent councils themselves will remain as independent local authorities.

Implementation and Interim Arrangements

Further developing and delivering the MCA’s vision will require collaboration across all the key partners: the councils, private, public, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. Key business leaders and employer organisations, the university sector, further education colleges and the third sector, along with those in the public sector, are going to be vital to this process. Hull and East Riding Councils are committed to finding the most appropriate means of involving all stakeholders and progress with proposals to begin the delivery of the vision for the establishment of the MCA.

Ahead of this date, the local authorities will form a shadow Combined Authority in the form of a Joint Committee. Joint working arrangements at officer level will be established through the creation of a small joint unit, drawing on external expertise where necessary, and developing a structure that combines the talents and knowledge in both authorities for devising and delivering major strategic projects.

A new business advisory board will provide the business voice for the area and will work with the MCA.

The MCA will have an assurance framework, in accordance with national guidance, and annually report against this, demonstrating its commitment to the continued high standards of governance and transparency, building on the excellent track record that the area already has.

12. Timeline

This is an indicative timeline for Hull and East Yorkshire’s journey to a MCA. It is dependent upon the results of the consultation and consideration by both Councils and Government. View the timeline


Appendix 1 Governance Arrangements 21 (pdf)

Appendix 2: Table of Powers/Functions 25 (pdf)