Hundreds of people have attended a series of events aimed at shaping devolution proposals for the North East.

Residents, business leaders and representatives from the public, voluntary and community sectors are among those who have taken part in a consultation on the area’s priorities for devolution.

Following an initial meeting with business organisations, a number of public events have been held in each of the seven local authority areas which make up the North East Combined Authority (neca).

Around 290 people have joined the debate at the events – which began on 12 March in Gateshead and ended today (26 March) in Northumberland.

Cllr Simon Henig, chair of neca, has also met with North East MPs and Lords to discuss proposals for the devolution of decision-making and funding.

Cllr Henig said: “Over the last few weeks we have met with a wide range of people who all share the same passion and belief in the North East.

“The feedback we have had has been very supportive of devolution and we believe that together we make a powerful case for the North East and that we can make a real difference in terms of how decisions affecting our area are made.

“I thank all those who have taken the time to come along to these events or who have given their feedback online.

“All of the comments we have received will now be taken into consideration as we develop our final proposals for discussion with the Government.”

As part of the discussions the groups have looked at how devolution could benefit the area in relation to a number of issues, including investment and funding for transport, infrastructure, employment, training and economic development.

The combined authority will provide an update on the outcome of the consultation and on discussions with the Government after the general election in May.