Leaders have pledged to help transform towns and high streets in the most ambitious funding package announced by the North of Tyne Combined Authority to date.

This includes more than £15m of new project approvals, £8m additional funding from government to redevelop brownfield land, and £10m for new and innovative businesses.

Cllr Carl Johnson, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Investment and Resources and Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside Council said:  “This is a record number of funding proposals and recommendations. It’s time for us to scale up. That means investing more in local projects and communities; the places, people and businesses that are our life blood.”

Councillor Carl Johnson in a black suit and tie

This report brings forward proposals in three key areas for the Combined Authority.

  • Firstly, to support businesses to adapt, innovate and grow as the economy moves into recovery, with projects being forward supporting SMEs and the Cultural and Creative sector. In addition to a second phase of the successful ‘Innovation Recovery Grant’ programme, this will include supporting the cultural and creative sectors – spearheaded through investment around Clayton Street in Newcastle, North Shields and Berwick – to help businesses start-up, grow, and flourish
  • Second, continue to invest in our communities, high streets and local priorities. The £6m Towns and High Streets Innovation Programme will create 220 jobs and will be used to help local traders, bring empty buildings back into use, and to develop long term plans to turn around the fortunes of struggling town centres. While the NTCA has also been successful in attracting a further £8m of funding to invest in bringing forward housing on brownfield land, taking the number of new homes which the NTCA will support to more than 2000. This approach will be complemented through co-investing in smaller projects alongside local communities.
  • And third, the devolution deal enables the NTCA to align investment in jobs with investment in skills and communities, and the report also brings forward investment in developing the Tech talent pipeline and to create a new training facility at Blyth – connecting residents to the growth opportunities which are being created.

Cllr Johnson added:  “Our economy is recovering faster than anticipated. But the number of people in employment is well short of its previous high. We must take charge of the economic rebound for our region. That’s why we’ll continue to invest to support our places, our residents, and our businesses to make positive change. We will become a world leader in green technology, a hotbed for technological innovation, and a place investors seek out to do business.”