Thousands of jobs at stake over fund decision

HARTLEPOOL mayor Stuart Drummond is urging the Government to back the latest bids for funding that could create thousands of jobs.

Tees Valley Unlimited has endorsed second round bids to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for just over £156m in the Tees Valley, which have the potential to create 10,000 jobs and safeguard a further 3,987 jobs.

The Tees Valley’s first round bids of were the most successful in the country when £26m was awarded to five projects, which represented 10 per cent of the £270m total granted to RGF project bids by the Government.

Mayor Drummond said: “Round two of Regional Growth Fund provides a fantastic opportunity to support major private sector investment in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley.

“If the Government supports our bids we will see major economic benefits that will create new jobs and opportunities for businesses in the supply chain.

“Our bids are of high quality and if the Government wants to see a rebalancing of the economy, its support is absolutely crucial.”

In the second round Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for the area, is supporting projects, packages and programme proposals for just over £156m, which will lever in an additional £1.742bn of private sector investment creating 5,667 direct jobs and 4,333 indirect jobs.

Of these, 26 are submissions from companies to enhance and grow their business with an RGF ask of £79.38m. This will lever in over £1bn of private investment and create over 2,500 direct jobs and safeguard a further 1,364 jobs.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director at Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “If the bids are successful, Regional Growth Fund investment in the Tees Valley will have a positive impact on private sector growth and jobs and provide a much needed boost for our local economy and form the platform for greater economic growth and stability.”

Tees Valley Unlimited is endorsing a range of projects, packages and programmes which have been submitted from a cross section of industry sectors including; manufacturing and process industries, low carbon energy sector, the digital and creative sector, logistics and distribution, and food and drink.

Programmes have also been endorsed which propose providing advice and support to business and individuals, including support for manufacturing and process industry, advanced engineering, low carbon, digital, and retail, administering business grants and loans, and developing infrastructure to unlock investment.