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North East to receive least from government regional growth funds

The North East is set to receive the least from the latest round investments in the form of regional growth funds.

The government has announced today our region is to get over £40 million between 2016 and 2021, which is the smallest sum of any of the English regions.

The Deputy Prime Minister says its down to which local companies bid for the funds:

In total the government is investing £1 billion in local economies across England as an expansion of their regional growth funds deal.

There aim is to pass funding from the central government into the hands of local authorities, businesses and universities, who they believe can invest with inside knowledge of what is needed in their area.

£300m investment for North East companies

Nick Clegg announces major investment for the North East economy

The Deputy Prime Minister has announced £300m of investment for companies in the North East.

The money comes from the Regional Growth Fund, and businesses in the region are being invited to bid for a share.

Nick Clegg made the announcement today (Friday) during a visit to DUCO Ltd in Walker, Newcastle.

The offshore manufacturing company successfully bid for £3.6m in a previous round, enabling the firm to create 168 jobs.


"Short-sighted and narrow-minded" funding decision for North East airport

There are concerns for the future of a North East airport after the Government turned down funding for a 4.6 million pound expansion plan.

Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport had hoped to secure the Regional Growth Fund cash to generate new jobs and investment.

This is the latest in a series of funding problems at the airport in recent years.

The Labour MP for Sedgefield, Phil Wilson, has described the decision as 'short-sighted and narrow-minded'.

Durham Tees Valley Airport misses out on cash boost

Durham Tees Valley airport chiefs have said they are "extremely disappointed" at the news that, for a second time, their bid for funding to support a multi-million pound development plan has not been approved.

The airport was hoping for £4.65million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to contribute towards the construction of a new access road to land on the south side of the airport.

The airport say there was the potential to create 1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.

"We believe that we made a very strong case for a project which could be of enormous benefit to both the airport and the area as a whole. Clearly in the light of today’s announcement we will need to consider the options now available to us.”

– Peter Nears, Peel Group, Strategic Planning Director


Regional Growth Funding announced for North East projects

The Government has today announced the projects who are set to benefit from its Regional Growth Funding.

The list of bidders with conditional offers in the North East are:

  • Air Fuel Synthesis Ltd / Crane Services (UK) Ltd
  • JDR Cable Systems Limited
  • JDR Enterprises Limited
  • Molplex Limited
  • NET Power Europe
  • Tees Valley Innovation and Skills Growth Hub (Stockton Borough Council - Programme)
  • Bringing Finance to Businesses in the North East (Sunderland City Council - Programme)
  • Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd.
  • Sunderland City Deal Infrastructure Development (Sunderland City Council - Programme)
  • Tinsley Special Products Limited

MPs condemn 'scandalous' jobs scheme

An influential group of MPs has strongly criticised a flagship government scheme to create more jobs in the North East.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee described the success rate of the Regional Growth Fund as 'scandalous'. In the North East, out of more than £143 million promised to various projects, only £27 million has actually been made available to employers on the ground.

Nationally, the Committee found that only 2,442 new jobs had been created, against a target of 36,800 over the lifetime of the projects.

“Given the dire state of the economy, it is nothing short of scandalous that so few projects funded by the Regional Growth Fund have actually got off the ground. Some two years into the programme, of the £1.4 billion allocated only £60 million had reached front-line projects."

– Margaret Hodge MP, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“It is particularly depressing news for North East firms who are not getting the support they require to succeed after the Regional Development Agency – One North East (ONE) – was abolished.

"Hopefully this report will act as a catalyst for the Government to get a grip of the scheme and ensure that the funding is getting to businesses that require it. If not the economy will continue to fail.”

– Tom Blenkinsop MP, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (Labour)

"The RGF is delivering at the pace that companies can expand and create new jobs. To rush companies into expanding before they are ready would be unsustainable and would put public money at risk.

"The PAC report is based on the hearing back in May and fails to recognise the significant progress that has been made over the last four months."

– Michael Fallon MP, Business Minister