North East LEP to help businesses build back post-pandemic with £235k funding

A North East organisation has announced that more than £235k in funding has been awarded to help businesses in the region.

The funding, from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will go towards the creation of 12 different business support projects in sectors including culture, hospitality, digital and manufacturing.

This is part of the LEP’s North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group, and the Local Growth Fund - which helps to create jobs, boost the economy and improve the quality of life for people living and working in North East England.

Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East LEP, commented: “The North East Covid-19 Economic Response Group was created very quickly after the effect of the pandemic on our region became apparent, and it is coordinating a response which prioritises job creation and investment in our people, infrastructure and innovation.

“As part of this response, the North East LEP is providing funding that will enable business support organisations to put in place new ways of helping businesses in a variety of sectors to rebuild and move forward.”

Ian Pilkington, chair of Food and Drink North East (FADNE), said: “Targeted, sector specific and specialist business support is a fundamental part of the FADNE strategy and key to unleashing the potential of our vibrant food and drink sector and supporting its growth in a meaningful and measurable way.

“We are delighted to be working with partners such as the North East LEP and NBSL and look forward to launching our Speaking From Experience programme early in the New Year.”

Paul Butler, CEO of the North East Automotive Alliance, added: “North East is leading the UK’s electrification agenda.

“However, we cannot rest on our laurels, we must continue to develop our capabilities in this area and ensure our businesses are best placed to capitalise on this global electrification mega trend.

“We are delighted to receive this support to enable us to move our EV North activities forward.

“This is a critical time for many businesses in our region, which have been hit hard by the economic shock of Covid-19.

“The North East has an efficient, coordinated response which I am confident will put us on the path to a stronger post-pandemic economy and this funding will help to make sure that no one is left behind as we move towards recovery.”