THE North East was one of the three big winners in this week’s announcement of funding to boost local business growth.
The Government unveiled a £290million investment to be spent on skills and employment, projects, housebuilding and transport links, putting the region third nationwide behind only London and Manchester.
The Sunderland Fab Lab – a digital manufacturing laboratory, combining 2D and 3D design with the latest fabrication technology – is a first for the North East.
The University of Sunderland will co-locate a Fab Lab with incubation and business units available to allow ideas created through the initiative to be developed as businesses on site.
Communities and Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis visited the university as part of a tour of the region to announce the full funding package.
North East Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Paul Woolston said: “The breadth and depth of the Local Growth Deal for the North East means we will create and develop thousands of new jobs, generate major new business investment opportunities and implement a life-changing schools-led model to boost prospects for local students.
“It is exciting that major strategic decisions on long-term economic growth are being made by the people who know the area best, including the dedicated board members and team at the enterprise partnership working with public, private and voluntary sector partners.
“Experienced, committed local people will direct, manage and deliver these projects to benefit current and future generations.”
The deal covers many of the projects which were submitted to government in the North East Strategic Economic Plan to begin in 2015/16.
The enterprise partnership will work with partners to deliver these projects, and continue to progress all aspects of the Strategic Economic Plan to create more and better jobs in the North East.
Other North-East projects which will benefit from Local Growth deal funding include Merchant Park 2 in Newton Aycliffe, and Swans Wet Birth Infill on North Tyneside.