- Community Wealth Building
We’ve re-imagined the People’s Bank pledge in my manifesto. Since my election we’ve probably had the most turbulent economic time in the last 100 years. We completed a due diligence on the People’s Bank as soon as I was elected and it was found to be financially viable on a wider North East footprint.
Through the pandemic I made the decision to prioritise financial support for businesses. Start-ups, small businesses, social enterprises, and co-operatives often struggle to find the money they need to grow and thrive. The big banks based outside the North East do not have a good track record of lending to the full range of businesses based here.
The North East has the lowest rate of business start-ups in England. To address this, we need investment capital. Private equity simply isn’t investing here with sufficient scale or expertise. In particular, there is a dearth of patient equity capital. The existing North East Fund, backed by the European Investment bank, is winding down. Debt funding is invariably only available with security, creating a catch-22 for business scale-ups.
Our Access to Finance programme is the initial stage of the People’s Bank and supports its future creation. It includes:
This embryonic People’s Bank and a future Regional Wealth Fund that works for the people of the North East are key parts of the answer – recycling money in our region.