THE Government is being encouraged to splash more cash in the North East after grant aid helped create 130 new jobs in South Tyneside.
The region has been particularly successful in attracting Regional Growth Fund (RGF) support.
RGF is a £2.6bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016, supporting projects and programmes that use private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
It’s a flexible and competitive fund, with firms able to submit bids either as a project or a programme with a minimum threshold of £1m.
Last month, world-famous J Barbour and Sons in South Shields was awarded £549,000 to extend its warehouse and factory facilities.
During his visit to the town to announce the Barbour grant, business secretary Vince Cable said: “The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting British manufacturing and helping to rebalance the economy by creating jobs and stimulating private investment.
“This is the case in the North East, where government support is giving firms and SMEs the confidence to invest, hire and grow.”
Now – ahead of the Government’s spending review later this month – the NEvolution campaign is calling for more regional funding.
NEvolution has seen the Gazette join forces with newspapers in the North East to spearhead calls for more devolution of powers to the region and additional funds.
We’re urging Chancellor George Osborne to provide more support from the RGF to help create lasting private sector jobs. European Union funding has also been successfully sourced for the region.
Earlier this month, work started on an £11m scheme to transform a gateway into Sunderland city centre – almost £2.5m of the money came from the European Regional Development Fund.