North of Tyne director Henry Kippin will chair a panel of experts to decide how best to spend £4.6m for jobs and businesses in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) bosses have called for people with experience in running local businesses to apply for a place on the NTCA Growth Fund Panel.  The panel will review funding applications from small to medium sized businesses to ensure the right organisations are awarded funding.

NTCA Director of Economic Growth Henry Kippin said: “We want local people to help us to make decisions so that we can make sure the right projects are funded. We would love to hear from people who have experience in areas including but not limited to accounting, engineering and law and who have an interest in helping to drive growth in the area. You’ll play a role in making the devolution deal work by making decisions about investing in priority areas for local economic growth in the North of Tyne area.”

The NTCA Growth Fund Panel will be the decision-making panel that awards fund to SMEs from the North of Tyne Growth Fund, which is a £4.6m ERDF fund that supports SMEs across Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authorities. The primary aim of the fund is to support investment into the NTCA area that will create employment and stimulate business growth.

It will foster innovative processes to drive productivity, resulting in increased profitability, wage growth and employment growth in SMEs, strengthening the North of Tyne economy and creating better jobs. The fund will leverage £10.5m of private sector investment, creating 252 new jobs in the area.

Henry Kippin said: “The panel will comprise a combination of private and public sector representation with representatives from each local authority and from the combined authority. We want private sector representation from the area so that we can use local business expertise to make sure grants go to the right projects. Our public sector representatives will provide local authority expertise and ensure complementarity with other funding available in the area.”

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Economic Growth Cllr Bruce Pickard said: “Support for business is key to the North of Tyne devolution deal. “The Growth Fund Panel will ensure our small and medium businesses get the support they need to grow, invest, and realise their potential. I’d urge anybody with bright ideas about how business in the North of Tyne can flourish to apply.”

The Growth Fund Panel will first meet in late April, and then bi-monthly after that.  This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Programme 2014-2020.

How to apply
Just send your CV and one side of A4 explaining why you’d like to be on the panel and what you feel you can offer to, or call 0191 277 4794, by March 24.

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