North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll has unveiled a funding package of almost £20m that aims to help create more than 2,500 jobs in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The £19.75m scheme, which is backed by European funding and will unlock £20m in private investment, aims to attract inward investment into the area and support existing small companies who are looking to grow and create jobs.
The package follows last week’s announcement that global security company Verisure was setting a base at the Quorum Business Park in North Tyneside, ultimately creating 1,000 new jobs.
The scheme follows other funding packages unveiled by the North of Tyne Combined Authority in recent weeks to boost the area’s digital and tourism sectors.
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 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 industry in an effort to bring more big events to the area.
Mr Driscoll said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to work together to draw down these ERDF funds and make an offer to business that will result in real growth and jobs.
“Any business will tell you that you won’t get far without a bit of bravery and ambition. I’m proud to back that bravery and ambition with this money.”
More details on the scheme can be found at www.northoftynegrowthfund.co.uk or by ringing 0191 7161007.
Originally published in ChronicleLive.