Pledge to create a thriving future for South Tyneside - organisations sign deal committing to jobs, spending, health and climate

South Tyneside is looking forward to a bumper year of good news in 2022 after companies and organisations across the borough signed a New Year's pledge to create a thriving future for our towns and villages.

Cleadon Hills is one of our best-loved beauty spots.
Cleadon Hills is one of our best-loved beauty spots.

Some 20 public and private sector organisations have already signed up to the South Tyneside Pledge, which aims to boost business, reduce health inequalities, cut carbon emissions, and increase the sense civic pride for the benefit of everyone.

The pledge sets out nine commitments, and all those signing up will be asked to show how they are meeting them every six months.

These include giving South Tyneside firms their business where possible, providing job opportunities, and encouraging employees to shop local.

South Tyneside council leader Cllr Tracey Dixon

Encouraging healthy lifestyles and community volunteering are also on the list.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council and chair of South Tyneside Partnership, said: “By signing the pledge, organisations, big or small are saying that they will do all they can to spend, recruit and support our local area and bring about positive change.

“This isn’t a piece of paper we sign and pop back in a drawer to make us all feel better, it’s about shining a light on our practices and seeing what more we can do to support the borough – be that taking action on climate change, job creation, supporting small business or improving people’s health.

“As individual organisations we can only do so much, but by working collaboratively with a common set of objectives we hope to improve South Tyneside across all areas.”

South Shields Town Hall.

Cllr Dixon said examples of work already being carried out by organisations which have signed up to the pledge include:

:: The Customs House working closely with schools, Tyne Coast College, and other organisations to boost confidence and aspiration through performing arts

:: Groundwork has made the commitment that all of its staff and volunteers will receive Carbon Literacy Training

:: South Tyneside Business Week 2022, with a focus on helping local firms to be well placed to bid for procurement opportunities

:: South Shields Football Club developing its Foundation to raise aspiration and improve health and wellbeing among young people

:: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service aiming to involve local businesses in the development of their new Tri-station at Hebburn

:: South Tyneside Homes recruiting local apprentices and recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service as one of the Top 100 Employers of Apprentices in the UK

:: South Tyneside Council developing a Climate Change Toolkit for businesses about steps local firms can take towards Net Zero

:: Organisations across South Tyneside signing up to the Better Health at Work Award to help drive better health and wellbeing locally

:: Inspire South Tyneside encouraging local residents to volunteer for a range of community and voluntary service organisations.

Those signing up will be asked, twice a year, to show what they are doing to meet these commitments.

Cllr Dixon said ‘best practice’ will be shared, advice and support provided, and the impact of the project will be monitored by the South Tyneside Partnership and its Economic Regeneration Board.

She said the pledge builds on similar schemes elsewhere in the UK, including North of Tyne, Leeds and Greater Manchester.

The council leader said Preston’s pledge had seen the amount of money spent by business and organisations for projects in the local area go from 5% to 20% over five years – a rise of £74million.

Cllr Dixon added: “My New Year’s message to organisations across South Tyneside would be; if you make one resolution this year then let it be to sign up to the South Tyneside Pledge.

"We can all do our bit to help South Tyneside flourish and taking the Pledge is just one way to help do this. It is quick and easy to sign up. Join us in working to make the Borough a better place for everyone.”

Organisations, public and private, big, and small, can sign up and become part of the Pledge South Tyneside network (which will share best practice, information, opportunities, advice, and events): www.southtyneside.gov.uk/southtynesidepledge

:: Business Talks, hosted by Invest South Tyneside, will be livestreaming interviews on January 14, where local businesses will be talking about why they have signed the pledge and the difference it can make to the borough. Find out more at and register at: https://www.investsouthtyneside.com/

The South Tyneside Partnership Pledge has been signed by:

South Tyneside Council

South Tyneside Homes

Tyne Coast College

Customs House

Groundwork South Tyneside

South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group

Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service

Port of Tyne

Zenith People

South Shields FC

MI Dickson Ltd

Urban River

Far North

Training in Care

Inspire South Tyneside

UTS Engineering

The nine commitments of the pledge are:

:: Increase the proportion of procurement spending in South Tyneside and the wider area and, if relevant, explore joint procurement and commissioning.

:: Support South Tyneside small businesses to bid for opportunities with larger organisations.

:: Encourage employees to spend, shop and eat in South Tyneside and to visit, and engage with, our attractions.

:: Hire more South Tyneside residents, advertise jobs locally and take action on gender pay gaps.

:: Provide job opportunities, apprenticeships, or careers guidance to local residents, with a real focus upon Care Leavers, carers and those with mental health needs and learning difficulties.

:: Promote healthy lifestyles and sign up for the Better Health at Work Award.

:: Encourage employees to volunteer with South Tyneside organisations.

:: Implement a climate change action plan that includes carbon reduction targets and the use of environmentally- sustainable supply chains.

:: Use our green spaces and cultural offer.