The North East Combined Authority was formed on 7 May 2024. We’re led by an Elected Mayor and Cabinet and cover the seven local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. 

Who we are

Our purpose is to champion the full potential of our region. Collaborating with our partners and local authorities, we’ll create a better way of life by connecting communities, giving people the skills to succeed, and improving wellbeing for all, so that the North East is recognised as an outstanding place to live, work, visit and invest.

We have five commitments.

A fairer North East. We’ll help people thrive with aspirational jobs, new skills, and better homes, improving quality of life for everyone. We’ll create confidence in the North East by reducing inequalities and improving health.

A greener North East. We’ll take inspiration from our industrial heritage and unique mix of urban areas, countryside, coastline and rivers, to nurture our natural resources - creating green jobs, sustainable industry, and clean energy.

A connected North East. We’ll get behind businesses so they can improve productivity and connectivity. With better local transport networks and digital infrastructures, the North East will have a global reach, becoming the go-to place for innovative ideas and real-world results.

An international North East. Building on our economic strength, and championing our heritage, culture, arts and sports, we’ll drive the region’s ambition to continually attract visitors and investment.

A successful North East. Together, we’ll speak with one voice, and define our own future, cultivating the talent, skills and innovation that will help grow our existing economy, becoming green industry leaders and a cultural destination - making the North East one of the best places to live, work, and invest.

What we do

We give local people more control over the things that matter most to them.

Rather than central government making decisions about the area, a lot more can be decided here in the region by the combined authority. This close working between the councils means we can speak with one voice, which helps when we want to make the case for the North East nationally and internationally.

We’re jointly run by the Mayor and the leaders of the seven councils, meaning every part of the region is fairly represented.

This group of people, along with a person from the business world and one representing the voluntary and community sector, make up our Cabinet. This is where important decisions are made.

We know working together is the best way to get more good done for the region, so we work closely with organisations and people from all across the region. These range from health trusts, emergency services, voluntary organisations and local businesses.

The region

The North East is home to three cities, award-winning coastline, breathtaking rural landscapes and historic market towns.

With a population just under 2 million, the area covered by the combined authority is the seven local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Our regional economy is worth more than £40 billion with 5,500 businesses providing 820,000 jobs.

We’re proud of our four universities and nine further education colleges, meaning more local people come to study here than the number that leave.

We can boast incredible heritage with two UNESCO World Heritage sites - Durham Castle and Cathedral, and Hadrian’s Wall.

Map of part of the UK highlighting the North East region.


Devolution gives us the chance to make our own decisions about our own future, so we can target investment where we know we need it most. It means decisions being taken as near as possible to where they will have an impact. 

Through devolution deals, the Government is giving areas of the country more powers to make their own decisions on issues such as transport, skills and support for business.

In December 2023 a devolution deal for the North East was announced covering the local authority areas of:

  • County Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle
  • North Tyneside
  • Northumberland
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland

Under the deal, local leaders will have greater control over funding across this area and be able to take decisions normally made by central government locally.

That devolution deal paved the way for the formation of the combined authority on 7 May 2024.

The mayor

Kim McGuinness is the first North East mayor. She was elected on a manifesto dedicated to creating the infrastructure of opportunity, with a plan to end child poverty and create local, well-paid jobs across the region. 

As Mayor, Kim has committed to creating a North East that goes beyond net zero with climate change policies that change lives, where there is a good home for everyone, whether you rent or own and a well-paid job enjoyed by a skilled workforce backed by strong trade unions.

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