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The North East has been awarded up to £47m from government’s Getting Building Fund to start local infrastructure projects that will help the region recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of government’s ‘New Deal’ that will deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure for Britain, the funding will be spent on ‘shovel ready’ projects that can be delivered in the next 18 months.

Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “This is welcome news from government and demonstrates they have been listening to our region’s collective call for significant investment to help businesses and the economy recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will now work closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to ensure the portfolio of projects are delivered on time and fuel the North East’s economic response to the pandemic.”

Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Combined Authority, said: “Our economy needs a boost. This £47 million will help us create the local, high-quality jobs we need. The future is in low-carbon industries, like offshore wind and electric vehicles. We’ll be investing in projects that will bring work to the North East.”

Cllr Iain Malcolm, Chair of the North East Combined Authority, said: “This new funding is a welcome step forward as we move ahead with infrastructure plans that will allow our residents and businesses to not just recover but thrive post-COVID-19. The move will drive growth and productivity, both of which are needed right now.”

The Getting Building Fund forms part of government’s New Deal for Britain, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It sets out government’s strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK.

£5bn of the £640bn government plans to spend on capital investment projects over the next five years has been brought forward with £900m being allocated to a range of ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects in England over the course of this year and next. The funding will enable local areas to invest in priority infrastructure projects to drive local growth and jobs.

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