South Tyneside Council’s leader has called for more borough firms to take advantage of a £120m fund for businesses.
The new ‘North East Fund’ provides loans and investment with a focus on new technologies, private investment and entrepreneurship.
It aims to support 600 businesses and create 3,500 jobs in the North East alongside creating a £80m legacy for further investment in the next decade.
Coun Iain Malcolm, speaking at the authority’s full council meeting on June 14, called for more action to promote the scheme to local businesses.
“It’s a really huge opportunity for businesses across South Tyneside to access funding in terms of investment, new ideas, increasing output and extending their operations,” he said.
“In terms of the original fund, South Tyneside didn’t take full benefit of the opportunities that exist here and I would like to encourage businesses and startups to look at this really closely.
“The funding is here to help businesses grow in South Tyneside.”
The current funding pot is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and follows a similar scheme launched in 2010, councillors at South Shields Town Hall heard.
Businesses based in County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland can also apply.
Cabinet member for regeneration and economy, John Anglin, explained that funds range from £10,000- £50,000 for small business to up to £2million for established firms.
On May 18, the fund was launched in South Tyneside with close to 50 businesses attending a meeting at Jarrow Hall.
Event speakers included minister for small business, Andrew Griffiths MP, and the European Investment Bank’s vice president, Jonathan Taylor.
Looking forward, Coun Malcolm called on officers to promote the fund to existing businesses both through existing channels and online.
For more information, visit: www.northeastfund.org
What funds are available for North East businesses?
Innovation Fund (up to £500k)
Venture Fund (Up to £1m)
Development Capital Fund ( £400k – £2m)
Growth Capital Fund (up to £500k)
Small Loan Fund (£10k – £50k)
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service