North East LEP
The North East LEP has reached a major milestone.
Rebecca Wayman

North East LEP local funding project reaches major halfway milestone

More than half of the projects supported through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund have reached completion

This is said to mark a huge milestone for the £270m fund.

Providing funding to major capital projects in all seven local authority areas, the Local Growth Fund is helping to create jobs, boost the economy and improve the quality of life for people living and working in North East England.

Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “More than 50 individual projects have received funding through the Local Growth Fund ranging from infrastructure projects like IAMP to transport schemes, including the A1058 Coast Road corridor in North Tyneside.

“Funding was awarded to projects that helped achieve the objectives set of out in the region’s Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to support economic growth, improve productivity and increase the number of people employed in high quality jobs.

“All the projects make the North East a better place to live and work, and the improvements will be felt for generations to come. It’s not just about improving our economy, it’s also about improving quality of life for everyone that lives here.”

To receive funding through the Local Growth Fund, projects had to demonstrate they could drive innovation and improve support for businesses; support economic inclusion or enhance strategic transport sites and public transport infrastructure.

Major infrastructure projects aimed at creating more and better jobs and further strengthening the North East’s key sectors include The Biosphere at Newcastle Helix, CPI’s National Formulation Centre at NETPark in County Durham, and Vaux in Sunderland’s Central Business District.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, added: “We are investing in the future of communities across the Northern Powerhouse and the whole country through the Local Growth Fund.

“The projects already delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership with their share of the fund are changing lives by building the infrastructure, skills, jobs and confidence people need to thrive.

“Our modern Industrial Strategy is backing businesses to create high-paid, highly-skilled jobs in every part of the UK and I’m inspired by what has been achieved in the North East so far.

“I look forward to seeing how people across the North East continue to build on local strengths and embrace opportunities for a prosperous future with support from the Government.”

Major road improvement schemes are continuing to take place across the region thanks to investment from the Local Growth Fund.

Transport projects including the A1056 Weetslade Corridor, A19 and the Arches junction in South Shields are set to improve traffic flow, providing better accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Local Growth Fund has also helped support sustainable transport projects across the North East in a bid to reduce congestion and protect the environment.

Also, projects that support local communities and improve skills have also received funding from the Local Growth Fund.

The new 2,500-seater Newcastle Eagles Community Arena in Elswick provides a new community venue for sports participation, vocational training, and health & wellbeing.

John Fenwick, director of finance and resources at Nexus, concluded: “We have invested in new facilities for public transport users with support from the Local Growth Fund.

“This has included the development of a new transport interchange in South Shields and the modernisation of Central station on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

“The LGF support has also enabled Nexus to invest in its workforce, with the creation of a new learning centre to meet all of our training needs. Construction of this training facility in South Shields town centre is well underway.”

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