£100m jobs package set to be agreed

A £100m jobs package is set to be agreed as part of plans to transform the North of Tyne economy.

Members of the Combined Authority are set to agree the first five years of jobs investment secured as part of the North of Tyne devolution deal.

The proposals are a key part of delivering on the plan to create 10,000 jobs over the next 30 years, adding over £1bn in goods and services and levering over £2bn of private sector investment.

The Combined Authority’s cabinet is being recommended to agree up to £33m towards boosting the growth of key sectors such as digital and new technologies; ageing, health and life sciences; energy and offshore. Up to £12m will be used for the inclusive economy innovation fund which is targeted at marginalised and/or vulnerable people.

Up to £8.4m is set to be pumped into culture, creative and tourism activity and some £20m will go toward securing major new strategic opportunities - one-off schemes which would deliver a major boost in jobs and growth.

The investment plan has been developed following input from businesses and the community and voluntary sector at recent engagement events, while further work will identify priority projects.

Pat Ritchie, Interim Head of Paid Service of the North of Tyne Combined Authority, said:

“This plan supports our vision for a dynamic and more inclusive economy, which brings together people and opportunities to create vibrant communities and a high quality of life, narrowing inequalities and ensuring everyone has a stake in our region’s future.

“While it focuses on inclusive growth, the intention is that the Combined Authority’s priorities around education, housing and transport will be largely met through other funding sources.

“However the investment fund will be used to provide development funding to generate a pipeline of schemes around these priorities.”

A number of funding streams and projects are already well underway, with £400,000 agreed towards organising a stage of this year’s Tour of Britain Cycle Race which is planned to travel through Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle in September.

It’s predicted the race will generate over £4.5m of spend in the local economy and support over 60 new jobs.

The Cabinet is also set to award Business Case Development funding of £200,000 to Newcastle University. This relates to a masterplanning exercise for the development of the Campus for Ageing and Vitality (CAV), on the former General Hospital Site.

The ambition for CAV is to construct an internationally renowned test bed for innovation across a wide range of sectors and the whole region that will tackle head-on the challenge of living better for longer.


Andrew Ward