South Tyneside companies looking for investment to grow their business, create jobs and deliver new innovations will learn this week how to take advantage of a £120m investment pot.
Andrew Griffiths MP, Minister for Small Business, as well as Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, will be speaking at an event on Friday 18 May to raise awareness of the North East Fund among Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The North East Fund, which is managed by North East Fund Limited (NEFL) and delivered through four specialist fund management organisations, is made up of five separate funds. These can be accessed by local firms to help them meet specific goals such as accelerating growth or innovating.
The South Tyneside event will allow business owners to meet with North East Fund managers and local economic development and financial representatives to discuss the benefits of investment for growth, obtain information regarding the funds available and network with other organisations who have previously benefited from the investment route to help achieve success.
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: "I am very pleased to welcome the Minister to South Tyneside and for him to join us in discussing and raising the profile of our local economy.
"We have high economic aspirations for the borough and the North East region so ensuring our SMEs have access to the right funds to support their growth and development is a core element in our vision to create more high quality jobs in South Tyneside."
Andrew Mitchell, CEO of North East Fund Limited explained: "This is a great opportunity for South Tyneside businesses to come along, find out more about the North East Fund and what exactly is available to them in terms of investment opportunities.
"New investment backed by the North East Fund will help hundreds of businesses across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to create jobs, expand activity and harness their full potential."
During his visit, Mr Griffiths will also visit the site of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, which will deliver a nationally and internationally respected location for advanced manufacturing, creating around 7,000 jobs.
The government has already designated the IAMP as 'nationally significant' and a public sector funding package of £102m has been secured for land acquisition and infrastructure.
Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: "This Government is fully behind the entrepreneurs delivering jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers and I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet some of the businesses that will be able to grow and succeed as a result of this £120m fund.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with over 1,000 being created every day across the country, and in the North East supporting 355,000 jobs and generating revenues of £27bn. Through our Industrial Strategy we are building a Britain in which they will continue to thrive."