Greater Lincolnshire draft devolution deal unpacked: what will it mean for northern Lincolnshire?

A Greater Lincolnshire draft devolution deal has been announced.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a host of draft devolution deals in the Autumn Statement, including for Greater Lincolnshire, and Hull and East Riding. A Greater Lincolnshire mayoral combined county authority (MCCA) is proposed, with an elected mayor.

A host of powers are proposed to be transferred to it, and multi-million pound investment. With no delays, the new mayor will be elected in May 2025.

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The draft deal is 55 pages long and sets out how the MCCA and mayoralty would work. A Level 3 tier deal has been agreed, the most comprehensive level currently available as a devolution starting point.

It is in addition to existing councils, with none of them being combined or dissolved. Here, unpacked, is your basic guide to the Greater Lincolnshire draft devolution deal.

Economy and Homes

The deal has areas of focus, with the Greater Lincolnshire economy and housebuilding key features. If it goes ahead, £28.4m one-off capital investment is promised to begin with. This is split between £20m to “drive place-based economic regeneration”, and the rest mostly towards building new homes on brownfield land.

Specific areas of the local economy are highlighted for the potential to support more, including Grimsby‘s seafood industry cluster. An enhanced partnership on water management will be created. Partner organisations will work together not only on action against coastal erosion and flooding, but also meeting water demand needs.

In Grimsby, Homes England and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will support the regeneration of and reuse of brownfield land in the town centre, including the Alexandra Dock scheme. An emphasis on developing skills for the local economy runs through the deal. In the 2026/27 academic year, the entire adult education budget of Greater Lincolnshire will be devolved.

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The MCCA will be provided with £24m a year for 30 years, a total of £720m. There are some very limited tax-raising powers for the new mayor. They can seek an extra charge on council tax, purely to fund mayoral functions.

They can also try to introduce a supplement on business rates, to pay for projects that will promote economic development. Affected businesses will be balloted, though.

They can also create mayoral development corporations, to fast-track development and regeneration in locations. Powers to compulsory buy sites will also be devolved.


A number of ongoing Greater Lincolnshire transport priorities are identified. These include improving the speed of the Cleethorpes to Manchester rail line.

Transport powers will be devolved, including the ability to introduce bus franchising. The Department for Transport will work with a new rural transport group, established by the mayor, on rural area connectivity.

A transport budget will be decided by the government at the next spending review, which will be the mayor’s responsibility. The mayoral combined county authority (MCCA) will come up with an area-wide local transport plan, and a key route network, roads to prioritise investment in.

A TPE Cleethorpes to Manchester train service departs Scunthorpe train station
A TPE Cleethorpes to Manchester train service departs Scunthorpe train station

There are a lot of details about the complicated set-up of the MCCA and voting rights. It essentially amounts to checks and balances on the mayor’s power.

There is a mechanism that will stop the mayor favouring one main council area too much. If two-thirds of the MCCA members object, it can amend the mayor’s budget and transport plans. The MCCA will be able to borrow too, up to a yet to be agreed debt limit.

Not forgetting Humber

In the draft deal, Greater Lincolnshire’s main councils commit to reaching an agreement with Hull and East Riding Councils on enduring pan-Humber work before the MCCA is in place. The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero will have observer representation on the Humber Energy Board. This is to support the acceleration of the green energy transition across Humberside.

Humber, or Humberside, is mentioned 21 times in the deal. Grimsby is referenced five times, Cleethorpes four, and the Isle of Axholme once. Scunthorpe is not directly referenced.

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What’s next?

Full council meetings of North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, and Lincolnshire County Council, have to agree to it proceeding. North East Lincolnshire Council will hold a special meeting on November 30, 7pm, at Grimsby Town Hall. North Lincolnshire Council are the last to meet, on December 4, 10.30am, in Church Square House, Scunthorpe.

If all agree, an eight week consultation immediately follows. This will comprise six questions.

The draft devolution deal could be amended after that. In whatever form it is, it will be expected to return to the three main councils for sign-off in March 2024, then to parliament to confirm.

The devolution deal will be a foundation though, and not an end point to the transfer of cash and powers to Greater Lincolnshire. As the deal document loftily states: “Devolution is a journey, not a one-off event.”

“As institutions mature, they can gain greater responsibility,” it states later on. So Greater Lincolnshire devolution chatter is likely to carry on, even if a mayor is elected in May 2025.

To read the deal itself, click here. For a council explainer on devolution terms and the timeline, click here.

Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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