Ruth Mitchell

North East Reaction to second round of Regional Growth Funding

Yesterday businesses all over the region were celebrating, after the Deputy Prime Minister announced the successful bidders in the second round of the Regional Growth Fund.

8,500 direct jobs and 17,000 indirect jobs will now be created or safeguarded in the North East.

Tony Sarginson of Manufacturers’ Organisation EEF in the North East welcomed the announcement.

He commented: “EEF is encouraged that the Government has prioritised investment in high value advanced manufacturing and infrastructure projects necessary to drive our North East economy forward, create jobs and help to deliver balanced growth.

“Given the weak state of our economy, the immediate priority must be to ensure that the funding promised flows through directly to the projects concerned as a matter of urgency.”

Almost £40 million of funding was awarded to the Tees Valley, which will add to the £26 million the sub-region secured in the first round of funding.

Stephen Catchpole, the managing director at Tees Valley Unlimited believes the announcement is another clear indication from the government that the region is moving in the right direction.

He added: “The high standard of bids has been recognized and the ambitions of TVU and our local companies acknowledged.

“Today’s announcement, which supports projects throughout the Tees Valley sub-region further puts in place the foundations that will underpin the growth of the area’s economy.”

Ten members of NOF Energy based in North East England have also been successful in securing a proportion of the Regional Growth Fund.

This funding will add to a £400 million investment from North East England’s Renewables Group, which was made to help the region establish itself as a leader in the offshore renewables sector.

The chief executive of NOF Energy, the business support organization for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables also expressed his delight at the news.

He said: “Our members are directly and in-directly involved in key growth areas of the energy sectors, which have been recognized by government as having a significant part to play in this country’s future economic prosperity.

“The Regional Growth Fund awards should act as a magnet to attract greater private sector investment to the region and further build the North East’s global reputation for exceptional industrial skills, products and services.”

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