Organisations across South Tyneside have made a New Year's resolution to help create a thriving future for the Borough.
Nearly 20 public and private sector organisations have already signed up to the South Tyneside Pledge which aims to boost local economic activity, reduce health inequalities, cut carbon emissions, and enhance civic pride for the benefit of the whole Borough. It sets out nine commitments; those signing up will be asked to demonstrate how they are meeting those commitments through a short report every six months.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of South Tyneside Partnership said: "By signing the Pledge, organisations, big or small are saying that they will do all they can to spend, recruit and support our local area and bring about positive change.
"This isn't a piece of paper we sign and pop back in a drawer to make us all feel better, it's about shining a light on our practices and seeing what more we can do to support the borough - be that taking action on climate change, job creation, supporting small business or improving people's health.
"As individual organisations we can only do so much, but by working collaboratively with a common set of objectives we hope to improve South Tyneside across all areas."
Examples of work already being carried out by organisations which have signed up to the Pledge include:
The Council and partners working on South Tyneside Business Week 2022 with a focus on helping local firms to be well placed to bid for procurement opportunities
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service aiming to involve local businesses in the development of their new Tri-station at Hebburn
South Tyneside Homes recruiting local apprentices and recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service as one of the Top 100 Employers of Apprentices in the UK
South Tyneside Council developing a Climate Change Toolkit for businesses about steps local firms can take towards Net Zero
South Shields Football Club developing its Foundation to raise aspiration and improve health and wellbeing amongst young people in the borough
Organisations across South Tyneside signing up to the Better Health at Work Award to help drive better health and wellbeing locally
Inspire South Tyneside encouraging local residents to volunteer for a range of community and voluntary service organisations across the borough.
The Customs House working closely with local schools, Tyne Coast College, and other local organisations to boost confidence and aspiration through performing arts
Groundwork has already made the commitment that all of its staff and volunteers will receive Carbon Literacy Training
Those signing up will be asked, twice a year, to show what they are doing to meet these commitments. Best practice will be shared, advice and support provided, and impact monitored by the South Tyneside Partnership and its Economic Regeneration Board.
The Pledge builds on best practice from elsewhere across the UK including Charters and Pledges in place in Leeds, London, Greater Manchester, Wigan, Ayrshire, Preston, and North of Tyne.
It aims to learn from work elsewhere, such as in Preston, where, over a five-year period, the amount of procurement spend retained in their local economy rose from 5 per cent to nearly 20 per cent, representing a rise of £74m.
Cllr Dixon added: "My New Year's message to organisations across South Tyneside would be; if you make one resolution this year then let it be to sign up to the South Tyneside Pledge. We can all do our bit to help South Tyneside flourish and taking the Pledge is just one way to help do this. It is quick and easy to sign up. Join us in working to make the Borough a better place for everyone."
#PledgeSouthTyneside supports #LoveSouthTyneside
Organisations, public and private, big, and small, can sign up and become part of the Pledge South Tyneside network (which will share best practice, information, opportunities, advice, and events): www.southtyneside.gov.uk/southtynesidepledge
Business Talks, hosted by Invest South Tyneside, will be livestreaming interviews on 14 January where local businesses will be talking about why they have signed the Pledge and the difference it can make to the borough. This will be live streamed across our social media channels at 10am.