The mayor of North of Tyne has announced a £19.75m funding package to support business growth and innovation.
Mayor Jamie Driscoll said the money would boost rural economies, and bring new investment to Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.
The money is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will unlock a further £20m in private investment.
‘This money will help the North of Tyne business community in three different ways,’ Mayor Driscoll said.
‘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 investment is the result of cooperation between the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), the business community and the three local authorities of Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council.
‘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,’ Mayor Driscoll said.
North of Tyne cabinet member for Economic Growth, Cllr Bruce Pickard, commented: ‘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.’
Leader of Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson, described the funding announcement as ‘excellent news’.
‘This funding will address the scale up challenges faced by our businesses with growth potential in rural areas, supporting them to access suitable finance products, enabling growth and maximising opportunities,’ he said.
‘The scheme will help drive increased productivity and business performance, encouraging more overseas trading and incentivising business innovation in the county.’