Tory plan for 2,000 new jobs over four years

Councillor Peter Jackson, John Beynon from Morpeth Chamber of Trade, John Haswell from Berwick Chamber Of Trade, Kate Priestley from Northumberland Tourism, James Ramsbotham from North East Chamber of Commerce and Sir John Hall, president of Northumberland Conservatives.
Councillor Peter Jackson, John Beynon from Morpeth Chamber of Trade, John Haswell from Berwick Chamber Of Trade, Kate Priestley from Northumberland Tourism, James Ramsbotham from North East Chamber of Commerce and Sir John Hall, president of Northumberland Conservatives.

A £10million fund to create 2,000 jobs is the promise from the leader of Northumberland Conservatives ahead of next year’s elections.

The scheme was unveiled by Coun Peter Jackson at a jobs summit this week at LYNX Fishing in Alnwick, which was attended by Sir John Hall, James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, as well as other local business representatives.

Coun Jackson explained that a Conservative-controlled county council would create a Northumberland Jobs Fund, a £10million pot over the four-year term of the council, to lend up to £10,000 per job created.

The jobs would have to be permanent full-time posts in the county, with a preference for high-skilled roles.

It would be paid for through some of the more than 800 property assets in the council’s ownership. Coun Jackson said that at any one time 56 per cent of them were empty and their last valuation put the total at £680million with the bill for running them all at £13million. The council has already agreed to sell off £15million of assets in the coming years.

“If we create the fund, it will pay back to the council and the community many, many times over,” he said.

“We are saying that you sell some of that property, save on the overheads and put that money into a fund to create jobs in Northumberland.”

Those at the summit broadly welcomed the initiative.