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Innovation, Skills, Funding and Growth Opportunities for North East businesses

Innovation, Skills, Funding and Growth Opportunities for North East businesses.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is calling on the North East business community to come together in January to hear about opportunities to be involved with plans to create 100,000 more and better jobs for the region.

Members of the LEP’s senior management team will outline how businesses can get involved in the various programmes run by the LEP, covering areas such as funding, innovations, skills and business growth.

Helen Golightly, Executive Director at the North East LEP, explained: “This event is open to all businesses and intermediary organisations who want to find out more about our plans to grow the economy here in the North East.

“It’s a chance to ask questions and find out how you, your organisation and your clients could be a part of some of the exciting opportunities for businesses here in the region.”

The North East LEP manages over £500 million of public funding and plays an influencing role in the allocation of regional European funding and the event will include a briefing from the North East LEP Executive Director, Helen Golightly, on the funding landscape.

Innovation, and opportunities for businesses to get involved with innovation events and initiatives across the North East will also be discussed, including an outline of the innovation priorities which are set out in the region’s Strategic Economic Plan – the document which lays out a clear roadmap for creating more and better jobs.

There will also be opportunities for business leaders to find out how they can support the LEP’s work in the skills arena, including building on this year’s national pilot of careers benchmarks in North East schools, and the successful Enterprise Advisers programme, which pairs business leaders with schools’ senior management teams.
Attendees will also find out how they can make use of the North East Growth Hub, a free resource which brings together initiatives for growing businesses and scaleups.
Helen added: “We have one of the fastest growing regional economies outside London and as we enter 2018 we are working hard to continue this growth.

“We’re calling on the business community here in the North East to continue to support the delivery of the region’s Strategic Economic Plan and we also want to make sure that everyone who could benefit from our programmes is doing so.”

North East LEP Chair Andrew Hodgson will lead the event, which takes place on Friday 19 January, from 8.30am to 10.30am, at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.

The event is free to attend and is aimed at those in financial, professional and business services in the North East LEP area (Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland).

Register for a free place here.

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In conversation: Dinah Jackson discusses the Rural Growth Programme’s current funding calls

With more than £10 million to invest in businesses in the North East LEP area, Dinah Jackson, North East LEP Business Growth Programme Manager, outlines how the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme will unlock business investment across the region to create jobs and growth.

We’re thrilled to be able to announce that the deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest to the RDPE Growth Programme has been extended to 31 May 2018. This gives an additional four months for businesses to apply for three grants which are available: rural business development, rural tourism and food processing. The Growth Programme provides capital funding to support projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas.

We’re extremely pleased with the decision to extend the deadline for the benefit of the rural economy. We hope that the grant will incentivise businesses to bring forward their investment plans despite the uncertainty of current times. Individual projects could be eligible for up to 40% grant funding in most cases, and in some cases a higher grant threshold is available (for some specific projects to build our rural tourism infrastructure).

With more than £10 million to invest in businesses in the North East LEP area, businesses are invited to submit expressions of interest as soon as possible to give the maximum amount of time available to deliver individual projects.

So what types of projects can the Growth Programme fund?

Here are some examples of the kinds of projects that could be eligible for a grant:

Rural business development grants – New equipment or machinery that creates productivity and efficiency gains, new premises or facilities that diversify farming activities

Food processing grants – Expansion of a meat cutting and processing plant to meet new international markets, a new milk processing facility or expansion to an existing soft fruit processing facility to enable processing of lower quality and lower value fruit to supply growing markets for end products

Rural tourism – New footpaths, bridleways or cycle paths, extending a local museum or new high quality visitor accommodation

We now need good strong applications from rural businesses, rural tourism businesses and food processing businesses to ensure that we maximise the economic benefit returned to the North East from the programme.

Here are some top tips that will help you progress your project to create growth and jobs:

How do you apply for a Growth Programme grant?

The first step is to identify whether you are eligible. It may sound overly simple, but if you don’t meet basic eligibility requirements, you cannot apply.

Are you an eligible business, located in an eligible area, intending to carry out eligible activities?

With the exception of applicants for food processing grants, your business must be located in the rural North East. You can use the postcode checker tool

Whilst all business development and tourism projects must be in the Rural Growth Network area, your food processing project might be eligible in the urban parts of our region, depending on the exact nature of your project.

The next stage is to follow carefully the advice provided by RPA.

Clearly written handbooks are available for each of the three calls provided by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), the grant administrator. The handbooks set out information on what activity is eligible (and what activities aren’t) and how to apply. They also give a summary of our local priorities for rural business growth. Your project will need to deliver against national and local priorities.

Each project will be considered on its own merit and the application process is competitive. This means grants are not awarded automatically to an applicant. The RPA will assess all expressions of interest to see which best meet the criteria. This is through a rigorous two-part application process (starting with submitting an ‘expression of interest’) to tell RPA about the work you’re doing and how the grant could help you with it.

If RPA assesses that your expression of interest is suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.

Top tips for applicants

Before you start an application, here are some important reminders…

Jobs + growth + rural

Every successful application starts with a good idea and a clear plan for how to make that idea a reality. The whole aim of the RDPE Growth Programme is to create jobs and growth in the rural economy. Your application will need to show how your project will help do this.

Sell your idea

Explain clearly what your project does and how it will benefit the economy.
Show what the funding will mean to the success of your project. If you can show that your project is good value for money, and that you’re planning to use the grant money to improve your project, you’re more likely to produce a successful application.

Do the market research

Explain how there is real demand for what you want to do.

Be prepared

You will need to keep detailed records about your project, because you’ll have to provide proof (including detailed quotes) of how much the various elements of your project will cost.

An information event discussing the available funding, the types of projects funded and the application process will be held on Monday, 11 December at Wansbeck Workspace, Ashington. To book a place at this free event, click here.

For further information
For further help on growing your idea, see further information at www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/finance-and-funding/department-for-environment-food-and-rural-affairs/rdpe-growth-programme/  call the Defra Helpline on 03000 200 301, or email the Growth Programme at [email protected].

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In conversation: Heather Heward, North East LEP Programme Manager: how a recent update to the European Social Fund (ESF) rules will unlock investment across the region.


In our latest blog post, Heather Heward, North East LEP Programme Manager, discusses how a recent update to the European Social Fund (ESF) rules will unlock investment across the region.

We are delighted to announce that an ESF applicant no longer has to have all employer match funding in place before the project commences.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has worked closely with the ESF Managing Authority to secure this change.

We’re extremely pleased with the decision as this will unlock significant private investment to upskill those in employment. These changes not only benefit the North East LEP area, but also will have the potential to unlock employer match across England.

Employer contributions are defined as the financial contribution made by the employer towards support put in place by the ESF project, for example financial contributions towards the undertaking of training for the workforce or employment costs associated with undertaking work placements and internships.

Each project will still be considered and appraised on its own merits. However, a project should be able to use employer contributions as match funding and remain compliant with ESF rules if grant applicants and employers maintain a detailed adequate audit trail and meet all ESF regulations.

Essentially, the project could now be approved and commence as long as there is a demonstrated level of demand for the service in terms of expected employer contributions.

The applicant will of course have to show really robust compliance at every stage but we think it really has the potential to transform the way we train and up-skill our workforces.

Here at the LEP, we are thrilled with the development as we feel it’s going give employers the boost they need by providing financial support towards the business-specific training they need to upskill their workforces; it will also provide the opportunity for employees to progress within the workplace.

We now need good, strong applications using the employer model to respond to the current ESF open calls to maximise these opportunities for local businesses. Details on the calls can be found on the LEP website here
We completely welcomes the news and look forward to seeing the economic benefits for the region.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

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New pedestrian and cycle path at Durham station

A new footpath which will improve access to Durham train station for pedestrians and cyclists has been officially opened.

Durham County Council has created a new shared use pedestrian and cycle path which runs alongside the A691 Framwellgate Peth, from County Hall to the station. New pedestrian access to the station has also been created via steps just North of the railway bridge on Framwellgate Peth.

New street lights have also been introduced in the area in addition to the planting of new trees and woodland wildflowers. The existing pedestrian and cycle route along the station side of the A691 Framwellgate Peth has also been resurfaced.

The work has been jointly funded by the council and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Support has also come from walking and cycling charity Sustrans, Virgin Trains East Coast and the North East Combined Authority.

Council chairman Cllr Bill Kellett cut a ribbon to officially open the new path at a ceremony attended by representatives from the various groups.
Cllr Carl Marshall, the council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Durham train station is of vital importance as it opens up our city and county to people who want to come here to work, shop or enjoy a day at some of our magnificent visitor attractions.

“This new path improves links between the station and ongoing and future developments in Durham, which can only help us to attract further investment and employers.

“By encouraging people to cycle and walk, it also has the potential to reduce the amount of traffic on the city’s roads which will bring about reduced congestion, better air quality and improvements in people’s health.”

David Land, North East LEP board member, said: “A main objective of the North East LEP’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund Capital Programme is to improve cycling and walking links to and from key rail stations in the area.

“This will enable them to become sustainable travel hubs, enhancing access to employment, training and educational opportunities.

“We are delighted to see the eastern side of this cycle route scheme now complete, with the western side expected to be completed by the end of August 2017.

“When finished this scheme will greatly improve accessibility in central Durham.”

Work will now start on the widening of the footpath leading up to the station, on the Wharton Park side of Framwellgate Peth.

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£5 million industrial units development given the green light

Planning permission has been granted for three new large industrial units in Hebburn. The units, which will be built on the Monkton Business Park, are expected to create over 100 jobs.

Washington-based Hellens Group, which is leading the project to create 55,000 square feet (5,110 square metres) of new industrial space, has received £1.27m from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Local Growth Fund that is helping a range of industrial and commercial infrastructure projects across the North East LEP area along with loan funding of £1.7M from the North East Investment Fund (NEIF), an evergreen loan fund also administered by the North East LEP

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive at Hellens Group, said: “The development is fantastic news for South Tyneside and the wider region. These new units will offer growing businesses modern manufacturing space with 6-8m eaves height, and good power availability. We will work with prospective tenants to develop the internal layout of the units and offer cost-competitive rates on long term leases. We are tremendously appreciative of the support for the project that we’ve had from both South Tyneside Council and the North East LEP.”

Work will commence on site in September with a target completion date of September 2018. There will be one large unit of 30,000 square feet and two smaller units of 15,000 and 10,000 square feet although there is the option for prospective businesses to combine the two smaller units into a 35,000 square foot facility. The units will come with their own service yards and parking facilities.

Monkton Business Park has rapidly developed into a key business location in South Tyneside. The 16ha site provides a range of office and industrial facilities on the edge of town, on a landscaped setting which forms part of the Great North Forest. The southern part of the site provides a major new office campus, with more than 18,000m2 of speculatively built new office space, while a range of manufacturing accommodation is provided to the north.

The site is located close to the A184 – between the A19 and A1- in close proximity to Newcastle and Sunderland. The location gives excellent access to the regional road network and is well placed to serve manufacturers with supply chains north and south of the River Tyne. Importantly, it is less than 15 minutes away from the planned International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and Nissan’s Sunderland car plant.

The site is already home to a number of companies including Siemens, Hitachi Construction Machinery Ltd, Variable Message Signs (VMS) Ltd, Ford Component Manufacturing, Clugston Construction and Kier North along with many others.

Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: “This is excellent news for South Tyneside, with regional funds from the LEP being used in a targeted way to grow the borough’s business prospects. I’m delighted that funding from LEP’s North East Investment Fund and the Local Growth Fund will enable construction of these much-needed units to get underway this year.”

The £270.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024. The North East Investment Fund was established as an evergreen loan funding to support capital projects that will lead to job creation.

David Land, Chair of the North East LEP’s Investment Panel, said: “Businesses in our region, particularly growing SMEs, are looking for new, state of-the-art facilities. Hellens Group has a strong track record in delivering projects and this scheme ticks many of the boxes in the LEP’s priorities and objectives, including supporting enterprise and private sector business growth; and strengthening transport, connectivity and infrastructure in the region.

By investing and developing in new infrastructure we can help create more and better jobs for the North East.”

Once built, the three units will be retained by Hellens Group and available to let by way of FRI leases.

Over the past five years Hellens Group has invested in excess of £10 million on a programme of new developments across the North East.

The company has already received a number of speculative enquiries from prospective tenants, from a range of manufacturing companies including both SME’s and larger businesses. Businesses wanting further information on the Monkton Business Park units should contact GVA or HTA Real Estate who are acting as joint agents for the development.

Notes to editors:

About Hellens Group

The Hellens Group based in Washington, Tyne and Wear, includes property, construction and manufacturing businesses with interests throughout the North East and Yorkshire.

The original business (John Hellens (Contracts) Ltd) was founded in 1973 in the North East of England. Focusing at that time on the regeneration of brownfield sites, the company became leading experts in this field throughout the North of England.  Over the years the company has adapted to changing market conditions and has moved into sports and recreation facility construction, land and property development and investment as well as manufacturing of hard landscaping products for the building industry.

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Vision becomes a reality for city business partners

Members of Sunderland Business Group met recently at Hope Street Xchange, the University of Sunderland’s new centre for enterprise and innovation, designed to support the city’s entrepreneurial growth.

Hope Street Xchange is a £10m centre for enterprise and innovation, funded by the University of Sunderland and supported by £4.9m investment from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund. The centre supports fledgling start-ups and offers space for existing businesses to develop and grow. Located on the University’s city centre campus, it also serves as a gateway to the University’s research, expertise and problem solving provision.

Sunderland Business Group was behind the initial proposal for a one-stop shop to increase entrepreneurship in the city and tackle the low levels of enterprise and business start-ups in the region. Representing leaders from public and private sectors, the Business Group works collaboratively on strategic projects to support Sunderland’s growth and prosperity; the University is one of the group’s founding members, and has been central to its many successful initiatives, all of which have benefited the city.

Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, commented: “The Business Group’s vision was to create a hub where businesses can interact with the University to support their innovation and growth. That could be for internships and placements, knowledge transfer partnerships or higher or degree apprenticeships. We also wanted to support creative endeavour through access to facilities and laboratory space – including the region’s first FabLab where designers and entrepreneurs can prototype ideas using the latest digital fabrication facilities.

“The approach proposed by Business Group partners resonates with our University’s vision, as outlined in our Strategic Plan ‘We are the Tomorrow Makers’. This plan, which we launched last autumn, sets out a bold ambition for Sunderland graduates to become the future leaders of societies and economies. The plan also articulates the University’s role as an anchor institution in the North East, making significant social, economic and cultural contributions to its locality. A recent independent economic impact study estimates that the University generates £432m GVA for the North East economy, supporting 5,400 jobs, we’re very proud of that impact and that our ‘Tomorrow Makers’ vision will become reality through this University and city initiative.”

Now open, Hope Street Xchange will accommodate 49 established businesses and 150 new business ventures, creating almost 400 jobs in innovative, high-growth sectors linked to the University’s academic strengths and research practice, including advanced manufacturing and technology, health sciences, business and finance, and the creative and cultural sector.

Hope Street Xchange will also provide immediate access to a wealth of ‘real life’ applied research, practical business advice, expert mentoring, knowledge transfer partnerships and support through student work placements and graduate interns.

Hans Moller, Innovation Director at the North East LEP, said: “The finished building provides a nurturing environment to support innovative entrepreneurialism and welcomes businesses large and small to engage with the University. We’re excited to see the great things that will no doubt emerge from such an enterprising initiative.”

As well as the region’s first FabLab the centre includes hatchery and hot-desk space for University staff and student enterprise projects, flexible light-industrial, laboratory and office space for businesses seeking to co-locate with the University, a new home for the University’s graduate enterprise development facility, and a choice of 30 Grade A offices plus workshops, conference area and meeting spaces.

A team of advisers, including a dedicated business development support team provide a wrap around service for the Hope Street Xchange community of entrepreneurs, businesses, and fledgling enterprises.

The £270m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.


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New £10 million property fund launched in North East

A £10million property fund aimed at supporting smaller scale North East construction and property development projects will provide an important boost for the construction industry.

The idea for the fund was conceived by FW Capital, the investment company based in the North of England, who will now manage the North East Property Fund. The fund is backed by Santander and the North East LEP and is held by NPF 2016 Ltd, a special purpose vehicle set up by directors Michael Smith and Geoff Hodgson for this purpose.

The North East Property Fund has been created in response to strong demand from small and medium-sized (SME) construction and property development companies who are unable to access mainstream finance from traditional sources and is hoped it will help kick start development in smaller scale property ventures across the North East.
“Santander is proud to support this new venture which will have a tangible impact on the local North East economy, including significant job creation,” said Stephen Carmichael, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial.


“This is a brand new fund concept in the North East combining both public and private money to benefit SME property developers in the region. We were pleased when FW Capital approached us and the North East LEP about the fund idea. It’s a bold and compelling initiative that is confronting head-on the urgent need to deliver more new-build property.”


The fund will provide loans from £250,000 to £1 million for non-speculative residential and commercial developments in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and County Durham. Typical repayment terms are between nine and 18 months.
Like other regions in the UK, smaller construction and property development companies have struggled to access finance from traditional lenders, leading to a new-build deficit in residential and commercial properties. This has in turn led to housing shortages in the area.


In terms of the North East itself, an estimated 6,440 homes were built last year vs an annual target of 9,000; only 1,420 of the 3,800 target for affordable homes were built in the region; this shortfall is compounding the legacy deficit year on year.


David Land, the North East LEP Investment Panel Chair said: “The North East Property Fund will tackle a pressing need identified in the region’s Strategic Economic Plan to build more homes which in turn will help drive economic growth.


“Our ambition is for the North East to return to pre-recession housing rates of more than 6,000 new houses a year and this new fund provides smaller construction firms with the confidence to pursue projects to build vital new housing.


“A similar fund in Wales has had a proven impact and demand to access this type of investment in our region is strong.”


The fund is based on the highly successful Wales Property Development Fund that has been operating for almost four years within the Finance Wales Group. FW Capital is part of the Finance Wales Group and they currently manage a number of funds in the North of England.


“At FW Capital we’re able to combine our existing local knowledge with shared expertise regarding property fund management in the wider Finance Wales Group,” explained Fund Manager Joanne Whitfield. “We’ve supported some excellent companies in the North East over the last seven years with a range of growth finance solutions from short-term loans to mezzanine and equity finance.


“We’re looking to expand our offering so that developers here in the North East will benefit from similar success we’ve seen in Wales with the Wales Property Development Fund. We pride ourselves on being a trusted finance partner of small and medium businesses across the North of England and we are delighted to be able to offer this new product to support smaller developers to grow.


The fund will operate on a commercial basis and by reinvesting returns into future projects it has the potential to provide over £30 million of finance into smaller developers over the next five years.


It aims to finance the build of over 300 new homes and finance the development of around 4000 square metres of commercial space. This is forecast to contribute in excess of £25m to the regional economy, creating or safeguarding over 600 local jobs.


Square One Law acted for FW Capital on setting up the Fund, Ward Hadaway acted for Santander and DWF acted for the North East LEP. PwC and UNW provided financial due diligence services to Santander and the North East LEP.


The team at Square One Law has been involved in the creation of over 25 funds . Mark Lazenby, Partner and Head of Finance, said: “The creation of a property fund for the North East is great news. This is the first time a fund like this has been set up in England and it will build on the great work FW Capital has done with the Wales Property Development Fund as well as assisting the North East LEP to deliver its Strategic Economic Plan.

“The use of innovative funding structures like this to help recycle public monies and create public/private partnerships

will be a good way to help sustain economic growth in the North East.”


Businesses wishing to apply for investment from the fund should contact Tony Cullen at FW Capital on 0191 269 6966, email Tony at [email protected] or visit http://www.fwcapital.co.ukfor more information.

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£9.7m in grant funding available for rural businesses through the Rural Development Programme for England

The latest round of grant funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area has been announced, with grant funding totalling £9.7m available to businesses in the food processing, tourism and rural business development sectors.

The RDPE provides funding for projects in England which create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Applications are being sought for projects that will grow a business, create jobs or bring more money in to the rural economy. Grant funding can help pay for constructing or improving buildings, and buying new equipment and machinery.

Three grant funds are available: Rural Business Development Grants, Rural Tourism Infrastructure Grants and Food Processing Grants.

Rural business development grants will help fund the growth of small rural businesses, new or existing. This includes farmers who want to diversify in to non-agricultural activities.

Rural tourism infrastructure grants will help fund the costs of capital expenditure on tourism infrastructure. The aim is to support projects that will encourage more tourists to come, to stay longer, and to spend more money in rural areas.

Food processing grants will help fund food processing businesses to grow and create jobs. This is for food and drink processing businesses which process agricultural and horticultural products. Examples include meat, milk, grain and root vegetables. Fisheries projects are not eligible.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP, said: “The rural economy plays an important part in the region’s overall economic success and we would urge businesses to take this opportunity to access the funding available which will help to grow and develop their business.”

The capital grants, which will be made available from the Rural Payments Agency, will fund up to 40% of a project’s costs with the minimum grant amount being £35,000. This means that a project’s overall cost would need to be over £87,500 to be eligible for the funding. To be eligible for the grants, businesses must be located in the eligible rural areas of County Durham, Northumberland and Gateshead or within the North East Rural Growth Network boundary, (see map).

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership works closely with Government to ensure that the European Funding allocation is aligned to projects that help deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan. Priority sectors are manufacturing and engineering, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, and knowledge intensive business services and creative businesses.

Three workshops will be held for businesses to find out more about the funds. These are planned for:-

Tuesday 14 February – Kirkley Hall, Northumberland
One workshop covering tourism grants and a separate workshop for rural business development and food processing grants.

Thursday 16 February – Durham County Hall, Durham
This workshop will cover food business development and food processing grants.

To book a place at any of these events, click here

There is no deadline for applicants as the calls are open until January 2018, although applications will be reviewed every three months.

Full details of the calls and guidance notes can be found: here

Applicants are invited to submit expressions of interest via email to[email protected]

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF).

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports European policy on rural development. To this end, it finances rural development programmes across the Member States and the regions of the Union. Programmes are designed in cooperation between the European Commission and the Member States, taking into account the strategic guidelines for rural development policy adopted by the Council and the priorities laid down by national strategy plans.

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Development at Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate receives boost from Local Growth Fund


We have awarded funding to support the development of a new commercial business unit on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate through the Local Growth Fund.

UK Land Estates, which is leading the project to create 52,939 square feet (4,920 square metres) of new business space, has received £1,359,322 from the North East LEP’s Local Growth Fund that helps support economic asset and infrastructure projects across the North East LEP area.

The Intersect 19 project marks the first speculative development on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate since the 2008 recession.

Tim Witty, Development Director at UK Land Estates, said:

The development is fantastic news for Tyneside and the wider region. This high specification unit will offer 52,939 square feet of modern high bay manufacturing space with 9.8m eaves height, good power availability and the capability to provide 20t overhead craneage. UK Land Estates are keen to hear from businesses looking to grow their business in 2017.

Work will commence on site on 6 February with a target completion date of 1 September 2017.

The £220.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.

David Land, Board Member of the North East LEP, said:

As one of the key employment sites identified in our Strategic Economic Plan, we’re delighted to be able to support this ambitious project that will encourage more manufacturing growth and job creation in North Tyneside.

Businesses in our region, particularly growing SMEs, are looking for new, state of-the-art facilities. By investing and developing in infrastructure we can help create more and better jobs for the North East.

Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate is strategically located in North Tyneside meaning it is well placed to serve manufacturers with supply chains north and south of the River Tyne. The major investments made in improvements to the local road network, including the dualled Tyne Tunnel and ongoing works to the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction, will ensure the estate continues to benefit from good accessibility to the wider North East region and beyond.

Over the past five years UK Land Estates has invested in excess of £6 million on a programme of refurbishments that have revitalised the estate.

UK Land Estates were advised by Tynemouth based Almere Consulting.  Tom Bailey, Managing Director of Almere Consulting, said:

We are tremendously appreciative of the support for the project that we’ve had from both North Tyneside Council and the North East LEP.

The Intersect 19 development at Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate is one of 11 new projects across the North East to receive investment from the Local Growth Fund in 2016/17.