North of Tyne seeks £10 million digital boost

The North of Tyne Combined Authority has made its biggest spending commitment since it was set up in November 2018, pledging £10 million in the North of Tyne’s digital economy.

Representing 17 per cent of the authority’s budget over the next three years, if approved, the funding will help investment in small and medium sized businesses; provide training for hundreds of people in digital skills alongside the private sector; and help expand the digital sector with new business start-ups and business acceleration programmes.

Research published earlier this month revealed Newcastle is the top UK city when it comes to making use of technology assets to win business, improve systems and attract the best talent. In fact, more than half of all digital jobs in the North East are in the North of Tyne area.

It is estimated that the £10 million funding will attract a further £25 million of private sector investment.

Nick Forbes, leader of the council, said: “This is great news. We can’t be an analogue region in a digital world if we are to compete successfully at home and abroad. Big data, cloud computing and 5G give us new opportunities to create jobs and grow our economy, that’s why we are looking to make this major investment now.

“Our devolution negotiations with government were all about people. This investment underlines that by showing confidence in our communities, businesses, and their ideas we which can use to create the jobs of the future right here in our region.”

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, added: “We want to have decent jobs in the North of Tyne area so that people don’t have to move down to Leeds or London. Devolution works. We can do a better job through the North of Tyne than through Westminster.”

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