Council wins major jobs boost for Tyneside

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Newcastle University Business School were hosts to the press conference, and ministerial visit from cities minister Greg Clark MP, where it was announced that Newcastle City Council has won a £92 million investment as part of its City Deal.

Up to 13,000 permanent jobs will be created over the next year 25 years after four key developments sites will become Accelerated Development Zones.

The windfall was the culmination of months of hard lobbying of Government by the city council.

It means millions of pounds will be invested in the sites to attract an estimated £800m of private sector investment with business rate growth used to pay for that investment.

The deal, worth an estimated £1billion in total, covers 80 hectares of land and will give a welcome boost to the construction industry creating over 600 temporary jobs.

The sites due for the economic kick-start are, in Newcastle:
 
•           Science Central at Gallowgate
•           Central Station and Stephenson Quarter (behind Central Station)
•           East Pilgrim Street

and in Gateshead:

•           Gateshead Quays and Baltic Business Quarter (along the banks of the Tyne)

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, said: “Today’s announcement is magnificent news for Newcastle and the wider region. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the city council over many months lobbying Government and setting out in no uncertain terms the benefits of our City Deal proposals.

"We take very seriously our responsibilities for creating the right climate for jobs, and are delighted in this vote of confidence. Our top priority has always been to make Newcastle a working city - and the creation of up to 13,000 jobs will go a long way to achieving that. These jobs will improve the lives of thousands of families and give many young people the chance to start their careers.

“As well as creating jobs, this City Deal is good news on a number of other fronts. It will establish the city as a low carbon economy; deliver up to 15,000 homes on brownfield sites, reduce congestion on the A1 Western Bypass, and create 500 new apprenticeships in three years.

“Our priority now is to get on with this and make it happen on the ground as quickly as possible."
 
Leader of Gateshead Council, Coun Mick Henry, said: “Any support that will help to boost economic growth in our area is to be warmly welcomed.  

"The package announced today will help to re-ignite development on Gateshead Quays and Baltic Business Quarter, to ensure our ambitions for that area can be further progressed.  

"The news that we will finally secure improvements to the A1 is very significant as this will unlock the potential of Team Valley to grow further and ensure that key brown field regeneration projects around Metrocentre can go ahead, as well as enabling further growth across the whole A1 corridor from Durham to Northumberland.”

The Deal was also backed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, whose chairman Paul Woolston was instrumental in earning Government approval.

Paul said: “The Newcastle City Deal represents a welcome boost for the whole of the North East.

"The Accelerated Development Zone will help the North East attract new businesses and create world-class venues for trade, science and visitors in Newcastle and Gateshead.

"Through this Deal the government will now ensure that the investment on the A1 Western Bypass is given the priority it deserves and also help the LEP to craft a strategic alliance on skills.
 
"I particularly welcome the Government's strong commitment to secure investment in the marine and offshore sector and the low carbon economy as further evidence that we’re leading the way in this region.” 

John Cridland, Director General of the CBI, visiting Newcastle as the City Deal was finalised, said:  “I congratulate Newcastle on having secured such an important deal with government. 

"The North East is already a great region to invest and grow a business.  The new funding arrangements announced as part of the City Deal will now create an even stronger environment for growth. 

"Newcastle is emerging as one of the most go-ahead and innovative cities for welcoming business investment, and I’m confident the private sector will respond to this opportunity.”

North East Chamber of Commerce President, John Mowbray, said: Newcastle and Gateshead local authorities must be congratulated for this ambitious and innovative project that promises to bring investment, jobs and some vital transport and super-connected broadband infrastructure improvements to Tyneside.
 
“I’m proud that NECC was able to support the Newcastle City Deal bid, which focuses so prominently on business development. This announcement is great news for the construction sector, Tyneside’s marine and offshore industry and support for the offshore wind companies will contribute enormously to the region’s aims of becoming a hub for new and renewable energy development.”
 
Newcastle’s success was announced today by Cities Minister Greg Clark.

Tax Incremental Financing will enable work to start on the ADZ sites which have been earmarked as future employment sites.

Infrastructure improvements will attract investment and new businesses. Apart from public realm improvements, the zones will improve businesses’ access to markets via superfast broadband.

They will bring forward 236,000 sqm of new office space, 25,000 sqm of retail, support new university accommodation and, hotels and restaurants.

The City Deal also represents a big step forward in reducing congestion on the A1 Western Bypass now that it will become a top priority for funding from the Department of Transport.

Over three years 500 new apprenticeships will be created in the city which has also been chosen as a low carbon Pioneer City, with a 34 per cent carbon reduction by 2020.

Government has also given its backing for the council to invest £25m in housing on brownfield sites.

published on: 6th July 2012