As just one of two devolution deals announced in the Spring Budget 2023, the Greater Manchester ‘Trailblazer’ marks the start of negotiations that may lead to a far more substantial and genuine devolution deal between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Central Government. This could include more powers and financial freedoms to local decision-makers and potentially introduce new arrangements over accountability.

This deal, the first since 2017, is a breakthrough in English devolution and work to fulfil the promise the deal offers is now beginning. You can read more about the key elements of the deal here and here (both links open external sites).

Following an early discussion at this week’s GM VCSE Leadership Group meeting, Warren Escadale, Chair, summarised the areas of importance picked up in the Leadership group’s discussion: “There are four immediate priorities for our sector as part of this: firstly, that we grasp the offer to make sure that the voice of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is involved and heard; that the voice of communities is an increasing part of the future of decision-making and accountability; that we develop, in partnership, new models of services for the public, and lastly, that we help shape a potential post-UK Shared Prosperity Fund (i.e. past 2025) regeneration model.”

You can read a one page summary of the deal from GMCA here and a longer explainer here.