Regional council leaders are seeking assurances from Government that the terms of the North East devolution deal will be honoured.

At a meeting this morning, members of the North East Combined Authority (NECA) Leadership Board agreed to write to the Government to request confirmation that the terms of the deal, signed in October 2015, would remain unchanged following the outcome of the European referendum.

In particular they are seeking assurances that levels of investment and funding for the North East will be protected.

Cllr Paul Watson, chair of the North East Combined Authority, said: “The North East has seen significant benefits of membership of the European Union in the form of access to European trade and investment and through European funding, which has helped to regenerate our towns and cities, support business, invest in science and support our rural economy.

“We remain committed to the devolution agreement but we cannot ignore the impact that the loss of significant funding will have on our region.

“A key principle which underpins the agreement is fair funding and it is right that we request assurances from the Government that the content of our agreement will be protected.”

Leadership Board agreed that they would consider the Governance Review and Scheme – which will set out the practical arrangements for how the combined authority will manage and be accountable for devolved powers and responsibilities – after they have received assurances from Government that the terms of the devolution agreement will be fully committed to.