Second city signs up to funding deal

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Manchester has become the second city in England to agree a major package of new powers and funding from Whitehall, as negotiations continue in Leeds and Sheffield over similar agreements.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed yesterday that the Government has agreed its second City Deal as part of its drive to return powers to the regions.

Greater Manchester will become the first city in the country to be handed a portion of the national tax revenue it generates through growth – up to £30m a year which council bosses can reinvest in local infrastructure.

The council will also get new powers over local bus services, and funding to create a new hub for skills and apprenticeships.

Mr Clegg said: “This deal breaks new ground, giving Manchester the freedom to be truly revolutionary –‘earning back’ tax for growth it creates. I congratulate the city on its innovative approach.”

Liverpool was the first city to agree a devolution package. Similar deals for Leeds and Sheffield will be signed before the summer.