Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East LEP - Major Steps Bring New Jobs and Growth; by Paul Woolston, Chairman, North East Local Enterprise Partnership

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East LEP - Major Steps Bring New Jobs and Growth; by Paul Woolston, Chairman, North East Local Enterprise Partnership

Article excerpt

THIS has been a busy and rewarding year for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership as we continue to make significant strides to creating more and better jobs across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

We've seen real results from our work alongside partners to bring new growth, productivity and confidence to the region, and we've taken important steps to bring long-term momentum to the North East economy.

We have lost no time in acting on the recommendations of the North East Independent Economic Review, which we commissioned and published during the last year.

Many regional businesses, education establishments and public sector organisations provided evidence for the Economic Review, led by Lord Adonis. We're very grateful for their active participation in compiling the evidence-based review which sets out the most effective routes forward for business growth, innovation and skills development, education and transport infrastructure.

We have also been successful in bringing new government funding to our area. This includes PS30m of Regional Growth Fund money which, together with the LEP's Growing Places Fund award, has created a North East Investment Fund to unlock strategic infrastructure investments. The fund aims to create at least 2,300 jobs in 10 years.

We have already allocated PS25m of loans this year with a further PS25m under consideration by the LEP's investment panel. These include major developments such as Newcastle's Stephenson Quarter, regeneration schemes such as South Shields town centre, and stalled projects such as Teal Farm, Washington.

The focus on innovation within the Adonis Review is exciting, drilling in to the area's pioneering heritage and aptitude for originality and enterprise. We are delighted that internationally-recognised commercial innovator Professor Roy Sandbach agreed to work with us to help reach our aim of making the North East a world-class centre for innovation growth. His work underpins what Lord Adonis called "a bold manifesto for change" by focusing on the application of open innovation and smart specialisation principles across the North East LEP area. …

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