Combined authority set to approve new investment fund

A new investment fund to support and encourage new businesses to the area is set for approval by the new North of Tyne Combined Authority (NCTA).

Over the next 30 years the Combined Authority has ambitious plans to create 10,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £1.1 billion.

With an initial budget of £1m a year, the Inward Investment Grant Fund will support foreign or UK owned businesses, and is aimed at creating new jobs which otherwise wouldn’t exist in the area.

Interim mayor for the North of Tyne Combined Authority Norma Redfearn said: “The investment fund will help us attract new firms to the region and allow them grow and thrive in the North of Tyne area, creating jobs and opportunities for our people.

“This fund will enable us to compete with other investment locations in the UK and Europe who are already offering grant assistance to inward investors.”

Cabinet members are being recommended to approve the new funding stream, as well as receiving updates on a number of projects which are underway on the objectives set out in the NTCA Vision and Devolution Deal.

The Combined Authority’s overarching vision is of a dynamic and more inclusive economy, one that brings together people and opportunities to create vibrant communities and a high quality of life, narrowing inequalities and ensuring that all residents have a stake in our region’s future.

Schemes now in progress include a project to support social housing tenants to find sustainable employment which is scheduled to start in March. And work on developing a ‘Returnships’ project that will support people who are returning to the labour market after a period of caring for children or other family members.

A project is being progressed to inspire more young people to pursue STEM subjects and get involved in the development of coding skills.

A Rural Business Growth Investment Fund aimed at increasing growth and productivity in rural communities also now has a full business case submitted which will be considered by cabinet in March.

And the NTCA will be working to support Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authorities in their bids for Future High Streets funding - a £25m government pot to renew and reshape town centres which are facing ‘significant challenges’.

Mayor Redfearn added: “A number of projects are already well underway which can be taken forward by the elected mayor after May.

“All these projects will have real tangible outcomes - benefiting residents young and old as well as businesses of all sizes.

“We pledged we would start work as soon as the deal was signed and are making good progress on a wide range of schemes.”


James Plater