Businesses across the North East are creating hundreds of new jobs thanks to a new investment scheme.
Back in March, Tees Valley Unlimited secured £7m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to deliver the Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme, with the aim of supporting firms looking to grow their workforce.
It was estimated the hefty input of funding could lead to the creation of some 700 jobs – and to date there have already been more than 300 applications of which 100 have already been approved which will result in the creation of 275 jobs.
The scheme offers businesses a 12-month wage subsidy of up to 50% towards the cost of a new trainee, apprentice or graduate of any age.
There is no limit to the number of people a company can employ, providing the posts are additional and can be sustained for a minimum of two years.
Key sectors of growth that can be funded include advanced manufacturing and engineering, digital and creative, logistics and chemical processing plus supporting business sectors.
Harvey and Hugo marketing and public relations, based in Darlington, has become one of the first businesses to receive funding through the scheme.
Named after the two office dogs, the business works with a wide variety of clients involved in food, insurance and renewable energy, and has grown its workforce to eight.
Charlotte Nichols, managing director, said: “The scheme has been crucial to recruiting two new staff. It has given me so much more breathing space and a chance to recruit high calibre, experienced people to the business.
“With the extra money saved, I can use our improved cash flow to build a new website and may get a phone upgrade for the office – things that aren’t always so easy to do when you are running your own business.”
“In terms of our planning and capital, this funding has been crucial. As soon as the news came through about the scheme, I was delighted. The wage subsidy means that Harvey and Hugo is getting a 50% subsidy for employing new staff – that’s a huge help.
“I’m very grateful to be accepted for this. I know there are loads of businesses that this can help – it’s an amazing scheme and so directly helpful to businesses and to young people. It also enables businesses to spend money on other things using local companies.”
The new jobs approved so far range from design engineers and marketing account managers to apprentices in fabrication, welding, electrical and finance & administration.
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “Businesses across the Tees Valley area are starting to benefit from the Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme and that’s great news for job seekers and the local economy. We urge businesses to get in touch to find out if they are eligible as this is a great opportunity to expand and grow.”