Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PS200m Energy Project Brings Regional Jobs Joy; UTILITIES

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PS200m Energy Project Brings Regional Jobs Joy; UTILITIES

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

APS200M investment programme has been set in motion by British Gas in collaboration with nine North East local authorities as part of the UK's largest energy efficiency project.

The multi-million pound Warm Up North scheme will initially create 75 direct job opportunities regionally, as well as creating up to 500 further jobs in the local supply chain.

Based in Newcastle, the 75-strong Warm Up North team will tackle fuel poverty and help to lower energy bills and make keeping warm more affordable for thousands of North East homes and businesses.

Local SMEs will be identified as contractors to carry out necessary work to help firms and families, which could include hard to treat cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation, new 'A-rated' boilers, and boiler repairs.

The regional partnership comprises of nine local authorities: Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside and Sunderland and is supported by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC).

The North East is the first region in the country to benefit from a scheme of this scale, as Warm Up North is the largest and most advanced regional response to the Government's Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The initiative will cover private and rented homes, and social housing as well as extending to publicly owned buildings, including offices, health and educational properties.

Jon Kershaw, head of Warm Up North, said: "We are committed to helping those most in need across the North East heat their homes for less; a lot of people who are struggling to heat their homes may not even realise the difference that making small changes can make.

"We are also helping to create high quality new jobs throughout the region providing apprenticeships, training and skills opportunities, focusing especially on helping longterm unemployed and young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs). …

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