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As devolution has once again become the current hot topic in Yorkshire, Bdaily is now going to put a spotlight on the progress of the proposed ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution deal.

Ever since the agreed £900m devolution deal for the Sheffield City Region (SCR) was postponed, there has been a question mark as to when, or if ever, a deal will be struck to see our region’s local authorities gain powers devolved from the government.

Throughout Autumn, Bdaily is setting out to give the business people of Yorkshire the opportunity to voice their opinions on the prospect of a ‘Yorkshire One’ devolution deal.

To kick off the series, I recently spoke with Nick Butler, CEO of Connect Yorkshire – a not-for-profit CLG based in Leeds with members throughout Yorkshire.

Connect Yorkshire’s mission is to support business in Yorkshire to grow and create jobs and wealth by learning from 80 of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs our Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Hi Nick, so do you believe that devolving powers from the Government to regions across the UK is a good idea?


Could you give a brief explanation as to why you support a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal?

It will help develop region wide business hubs as in Tech City in the East End and thus strengthen business and increase employment and exploit the Yorkshire brand. Tech City has had some public sector funds.

A public sector fund is needed to help such hubs to grow. The suggested hubs are IT, Tourism, Food and Advanced Manufacturing including low carbon, renewable energy and nuclear.

There are already sufficient businesses in the region to start hubs in those sectors. There is no stronger regional brand in the whole of the UK than Yorkshire and business must be encouraged and given the opportunity to exploit it.

Sheffield City Region previously agreed to a £900m devolution deal before it was postponed. Do you think having devolution deals for different parts of the region is beneficial or detrimental towards Yorkshire’s economy?

Detrimental-different parts of the region are not big enough on their own to fully develop business hubs.

What issues do you think will greatly benefit from a devolution deal?

Funding for business and for business hubs.

**Do you see the devolving of powers help you/your business? If so, how? **

Funding for business and for business hubs will help our member companies to grow and thus help Connect Yorkshire.

Many believe that a Yorkshire devolution deal would be a major step towards realising a Northern Powerhouse. Do you agree?

Yes. HS3 is vital as are road improvements such as the A1-Ferrybridge-the M18 section to 6 lanes ,the M1 Leeds to Sheffield to 8 lanes and the M62 to 8 lanes

What would mark a successful devolution deal for you?

A Yorkshire Mayor with the power and resources to help grow Yorkshire businesses.

Although I know very little about the Manchester Devolution deal from what I can see so far it relates to the NHS and I can see very little benefit in transferring parts of the public sector in London to the public sector in Manchester!

Businesses employ the people and pay the taxes that enable the public sector to exist so concentration on businesses is what would mark a successful devolution for me. And implementing HS3 and road improvements.

Thank you, Nick.

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