The North East Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £40.6m invested in the North East economy between 2016 and 2021. This is in addition to the £289.3m of funding committed by the Government last year.
Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 5000 new jobs could be created and that it has the potential to generate £130m public and private investment.
The additional proposed projects include:
- The creation of a facility for a national centre to develop and commercialise photonics based therapies. Lead by the Centre for Process Innovation, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult
- Upgrading the facilities at Northumberland College to improve skills levels and support economic growth in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, renewables and ICT
- Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub. Enterprise and Innovation Hub, comprising the first ‘Fab Lab’ in the North East, incubation spaces and workshop, office and laboratory space for manufacturing, creative and science-based businesses
In addition, the Government is committed in principle to support the development of Dun Cow Quay in Blyth and the regeneration of South Shields Town Centre through discounted Public Works Loan Board borrowing. These projects will provide 25,000 square feet of new commercial workspace in Blyth and a high quality bus and metro interchange to improve the public transport connectivity of South Shields Town Centre.
The North East Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the North East.
The Prime Minister said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
“And this is happening right across the North East, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.
“That is what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said: “A quiet revolution is underway in the North East and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give the region more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending.
“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the North East Growth Deal today.
“The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”
Paul Woolston said: “The North East’s economic plan ‘more and better jobs’ sets an ambitious vision for the North East, to transform the economy and enable more businesses to invest, grow and prosper, delivering more and better jobs for everyone. We are delighted that government is further supporting our proposals with such a significant investment.
“The additional £40.6m added to our £289.3m Growth Deal endorses our approach providing investment for innovation, skills, business support, and transport, developing our economic assets and supporting inclusive growth.
“The overall deal will act as a catalyst to lever in substantial private and public investment, creating thousands of jobs and providing sustainable and long term growth.
“The North East Local Enterprise Partnership is looking forward to working with our partners and government to make it happen.”