Create thousands of jobs with billions of ethical finance

As Mayor I’ve already set up our £50 million Venture North fund to provide ethical venture capital for North East businesses to grow in green energy, digital, health technology, and advanced manufacturing.  Instead of our innovators leaving the region, they’ll grow their businesses here, and keep money and jobs in the region. The profits will return to the Combined Authority. This is Community Wealth Building on steroids.

I will expand this fund to £500 million, levering in pension fund investment, which will create 14,000 new jobs in homegrown industries.  And once the markets have calmed down, and local businesses have recovered from the pandemic, we’ll progress setting up the cooperatively owned People’s Bank.

We’ve negotiated £80 million from government over the next five years.  This will create jobs in and around Blyth, along the Tyne, at IAMP near Nissan, and in NETPark near Sedgefield.

I’ll boost our inward investment team – already one of Britain’s most successful – to actively pursue investment here, building on the 8 big tech companies we’ve landed here already.  Investors gain confidence when they can speak to a Mayor who understands their business and help them grow.

And we have specific industrial strategy programmes for the rural economy, manufacturing, digital, offshore renewables, culture and creative, hospitality and tourism, healthy ageing, decarbonisation and specialist support for local microbusinesses.

These funds lever in 15 to 20 times the initial investment.  I’ll scale these up and hit the ground running so Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham all benefit.  This approach is proven to work.