£20m funding package aims to create 2,500 jobs in North of Tyne
Mayor Jamie Driscoll is aiming to attract companies to Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, as well as supporting existing firms.
A package of almost £20m that aims to help business create more than 2,500 jobs has been unveiled as part of the North of Tyne devolution deal.
North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll has announced the £19.75m scheme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and aims to unlock a further £20m in private investment.
The scheme will work in three areas: money to attract businesses from outside the area to Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland; support for SMEs looking to grow and create jobs; and support for rural businesses.
The package has been unveiled a week after Mr Driscoll celebrated the announcement that global security company Verisure was setting a base at the Quorum Business Park in North Tyneside, ultimately creating 1,000 new jobs.
Mr Driscoll said: “This money will help the North of Tyne business community in three different ways.
“There’s money for firms wanting to expand or try new things and which need the support to do so. There’s money for foreign or UK owned businesses who want to make their first investment in the region.
“And there’s money to help rural businesses scale up and to provide the business advice and support they need to do so.”
The North of Tyne Combined Authority has worked with Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council to set up the funds.
A £10m inward investment fund offers grants of between £100,000 and £1m for companies looking to relocate to the area, while support packages starting at £40,000 will be available to local SMEs looking to grow. Companies will be be asked to how the support will increase job numbers and wage growth.
North of Tyne cabinet member for economic growth Bruce Pickard said: “Support for business is key to the North of Tyne devolution deal.
“We’re committed to seeking ways to unlock potential, create conditions for businesses to flourish, nurture investment, and support long term opportunities for growth. This money will support both existing businesses and inward development.”
Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council leaders Peter Jackson and Nick Forbes have also backed the project.
The business support package follows the agreement of a £10m package in January from the North of Tyne combined authority to boost the region’s digital economy and create up to 500 new jobs, plus plans to provide £3.5m to support the tourism industy in an effort to bring more big events to the area.