Mayor Jamie Driscoll has announced £19.75 million for business in the North of Tyne.
Cash will be used to support business growth and innovation, boost rural economies, and bring new investment to Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.
This sum is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will unlock a further £20m in private investment.
“This money will help the North of Tyne business community in three different ways,” Mayor Driscoll said.
“There’s money for firms wanting to expand or try new things and which need the support to do so.
“There’s money for foreign or UK owned businesses who want to make their first investment in the region.
“And there’s money to help rural businesses scale up and to provide the business advice and support they need to do so.”
Working together, the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), the business community and the three local authorities of Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council will transform the fortunes of the North East, Mayor Driscoll said.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to work together to draw down these ERDF funds and make an offer to business that will result in real growth and jobs,” he said.
“Any business will tell you that you won’t get far without a bit of bravery and ambition.
“I’m proud to back that bravery and ambition with this money.”
The NTCA offer will complement business support already provided in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland and is promoted through the North East Growth Hub, which links local and national business support.
North of Tyne cabinet member for Economic Growth Cllr Bruce Pickard said: “Support for business is key to the North of Tyne devolution deal.
“We’re committed to seeking ways to unlock potential, create conditions for businesses to flourish, nurture investment, and support long term opportunities for growth.
“This money will support both existing businesses and inward development.
“We’re working closely with our partners to ensure it complements existing support available in Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland.”
Leader of Northumberland County Council Peter Jackson said: “This is excellent news for businesses in rural areas, which can face unique challenges compared to their urban counterparts in areas like connectivity and physical geography.
“This funding will address the scale up challenges faced by our businesses with growth potential in rural areas, supporting them to access suitable finance products, enabling growth and maximising opportunities.
“The scheme will help drive increased productivity and business performance, encouraging more overseas trading and incentivising business innovation in the county.”
Cllr Nick Forbes, Cabinet member for business competitiveness, said: “Businesses are the building blocks of a strong economy.
“This major investment will make a huge difference to small and medium-sized businesses with ambitions to create and find new markets.
“We need more start-up businesses if we are to successfully grow our economy and ensure all our communities are given fair access to the new opportunities.
“I look forward to the release of this funding, and urge businesses with bright ideas to come forward and apply.”
The primary aim of the North of Tyne Growth Fund is to support investment into the NTCA area that will create employment and stimulate business growth. It will foster innovative processes to drive productivity, resulting in increased profitability, wage growth and employment growth in SME’s, strengthening our economy and creating better jobs.
The North of Tyne Rural Business Growth Investment Fund will help address the scale up challenges faced by businesses with growth potential in rural area, supporting them to access suitable finance products, enabling growth and maximising opportunities. It will help drive increased productivity and business performance, encouraging more overseas trading and incentivising business innovation.