North Tyneside Council is pitching to developers to invest part of £50m to transform the former Swan Hunter shipyard.It is inviting companies to help build warehouses, offices and a "learning village" that could then support thousands of jobs in the off-shore marine sector, among others.
The council told North East Tonight that around 40 companies have already signed up to an open day to visit the site, ahead of the procurement process.
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Dr John Sentamu said the waiting period is leaving millions of people who are already in debt with "nothing to fall back on".