BUSINESS leaders have welcomed the government's devolution plans for York and North Yorkshire, which were announced on Monday.

The deal promises £750m to the region, which would be served by its own elected mayor.

This includes investment of up to £50m to support and deliver the York Central brownfield regeneration scheme, subject to a business case.

There would also be £7m to enable York and North Yorkshire to drive green economic growth towards the ambition to become a carbon negative region.

A commitment to establish a working group to support the development of BioYorkshire was also made. There are also various housing initiatives.

Helen Simpson OBE, Chair of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, says the devolution could unlock many opportunities for our economy and create significant economic opportunity.

“We are the first genuinely city region and rural powerhouse deal and I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Mayor and our local leaders to make York and North Yorkshire greener, fairer and stronger."

Laurence Beardmore, President on York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce says the deal will create a more joined-up approach for business policy and support.

“The power of a single budget and purpose for the region will unlock the huge potential that exists, for example in terms of transport infrastructure projects to make all areas including the coast, rural areas and other major towns and cities and it will enable faster decision making powers for the things that count to the people of this region without often waiting on approval from Westminster.

“Being enable to engage on equal terms and for the mutual benefit with our larger devolved neighbours such as Teesside and West Yorkshire will quicken the Levelling Up process.”

York's universities also backed the devolution proposals.

Prof Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York, said: "The proposed deal represents exciting progress towards securing devolution for York and North Yorkshire.

“Devolution is an opportunity to secure significant investment and powers for our region, which will help us to address many of the challenges we face locally and ignite innovation and growth.

“The support for BioYorkshire outlined in the proposed deal will play a crucial role in delivering the benefits of devolution. It will boost the partnership’s ambitious green agenda to create jobs, lift the regional economy and support North Yorkshire’s goal to become one of the first areas in the UK to be carbon negative.”

Professor Karen Bryan, Vice-Chancellor of York St. John, said: "The proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire has the potential to bring significant investment to the area.

"This presents an opportunity to further enhance skills, support innovation and driving sustainable economic growth and social justice in our region. York St John University is firmly behind these proposals, and we look forward to working with partners to help the community to maximise the benefit from the opportunities they bring.”