Extra £40million for North East economy

Julie Porksen and  Sir Alan Beith MP.

Julie Porksen and Sir Alan Beith MP.

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An extra £40.6million will be invested in the North East economy between 2016 and 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister announced today.

Nick Clegg confirmed that North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal is being expanded, in addition to the £289.3million of funding committed by the Government in July last year. Over the lifetime of its deal (2015-2021), the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created and that it has the potential to generate £130million of public and private investment.

The additional proposed projects include upgrading the facilities at Northumberland College to improve skills levels and support economic growth in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, renewables and ICT and the Government is committed in principle to support the development of Dun Cow Quay in Blyth through discounted Public Works Loan Board borrowing.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Berwick, Julie Pörksen, said: “Liberal Democrats from across Northumberland are particularly pleased that the latest investment includes significant upgrading at Northumberland College. I am putting pressure on Northumberland College to expand the education available to people who are unable to travel easily to the college’s main campus in Ashington as this will be crucial in developing skills across rural Northumberland.”

Her party colleague, Sir Alan Beith MP, added: “This is a further investment in the North East which Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have been working to secure. Thanks to our efforts the Enterprse Zone was extended to include Port of Blyth and this further investment will make a big difference to businesses and people developing new skills and improving their job prospects across the county.”

The North East Growth Deal is part of a long-term plan to devolve at least £12billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the North East.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “A quiet revolution is underway in the North East and across the country, and Growth Deals signal the end of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give local areas real power over skills, over business support, and over infrastructure spending.

“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the North East Growth Deal today. The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”