North Bank of the Tyne Enterprise Zone gets Government cash boost

The European Regional Development Fund has awarded the North Bank of the Tyne Enterprise Zone £2.48m to create and safeguard jobs

Walker riverside which continues to undergo redevelopment

Sites along the banks of the Tyne are to get a cash injection from the Government to help the riverside thrive.

The North Bank of the Tyne Enterprise Zone, which spans parts of Newcastle and North Tyneside, has been awarded £2.48m investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

Match funding is being provided by Newcastle City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency and the investment is expected to give Tyneside a jobs boost.

A new heavy load route will be created with work on existing highways, improving links between the Walker Quays and Neptune Yards and a vacant plot will be regenerated, with all work set to be complete by June 2015.

The huge funding boost will unlock 0.942 hectares for development and when work is completed the site can house up to 2,600 square metres of factory space for offshore marine supply companies.

Announcing the funding, Communities Minister Baroness Stowell said: “Regenerating this important area along Newcastle’s riverside will mean this strategically important site is back in use, creating jobs and improving long-term economic prospects.

“Government funding and now this latest European funding demonstrates our commitment to making sure the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Enterprise Zone reaches its full potential.

“The work everyone is doing will make the area more attractive to existing and potential investors which in turn means more jobs and better long-term economic prospects for the people who live in and around Newcastle.”

Neil Graham, head of capital programmes at the Homes and Communities Agency said: “The value of North East companies working in the subseas industry is calculated to be £1bn and this support will help ensure that the Tyne remains a key engineering and support centre for the off-shore energy sector.

“The facilities that will be created through this investment will not only protect existing jobs but also help create new ones.”

The work could see the area compete for North Sea wind farms work and grasp opportunities in the offshore oil and gas sector.

It will also allow key companies in the area to expand, including Bridon International Ltd, Wellstream and DUCO Ltd, which have been handed cash from the Regional Growth Fund.

Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “The city council is playing an active role in enhancing economic activity on the Tyne by using its resources to support private and public partners in driving forward development and creating jobs.

“There are increasing numbers of trailblazing companies in Walker Riverside who are leading the world in innovation and technology and we are delighted to be able to bring forward more sites with our partners which will attract inward investment and grow the economy.”

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