Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Halfway There. Let's Keep Growing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Halfway There. Let's Keep Growing

Article excerpt

E'RE halfway there... but there's more to do!

WSince the Let's Grow Fund was set up two years ago, we have invested PS30m and either created or safeguarded more than 3,500 jobs.

The fund - facilitated by a partnership between Trinity Mirror, BE Group and UNW - was set up to invest the Regional Growth Fund in companies which have the aspiration and capability to expand and create sustainable jobs, but which require some grant support to help them realise their plans.

The fund is supporting businesses of all sizes, right across the North East.

So far almost half of the PS60m we received has been committed, bringing in nearly PS200m in outside investment.

The money has gone to companies in all parts of the North East, from Northumberland down to the Tees Valley, and has benefited companies working in sectors including manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals and digital.

Companies as diverse as large corporates through to not-for-profit businesses have benefited, though the funds have mostly been invested in small and medium-sized firms. But the project is not complete and we still have another PS30m to allocate.

ncjMedia managing director Stuart Birkett said: "Let's Grow has been a fantastic success. To have created or safeguarded so many jobs is exactly what we hoped to do when we set out on the project.

"We want to keep that success going and we know that many companies around the region are looking at growing their businesses. The fund is there to help out in those projects and we very much want to see new applications."

Among the major successes of the scheme so far is the decision of computer games giant Ubisoft to site its customer relationship centre on the Newcastle Business Park after receiving a Let's Grow grant.

Low-carbon innovator Sevcon created highly-skilled jobs at its Gateshead base after receiving funding and world-leading technology firm Tracerco created 69 jobs after a PS1m grant helped it open a PS9m R&D centre in Billingham. …

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