Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Millions of pounds to deliver hundreds of jobs in the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is celebrating today having secured £10.9 million of Government funding which will create over 450 jobs and transform business and employment opportunities throughout the area over the next three years.

The money, part of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, will be used to increase the number of self-employed in the area by 480 and support the start-up of over 200 new businesses and 8 new social enterprises.

Communities Minister, Baroness Andrews said: "The Local Enterprise Growth Initiative aims to encourage a step-change in economic activity in some of the most deprived areas in England. I am impressed by the huge response to LEGI and the genuinely deep understanding of local issues demonstrated by many bids and the strong role set out for local partnerships in delivering change.

"Following a very tough selection process I am convinced that the winning proposals will be able to make a real difference and drive enterprise forward in partnership with the private sector. LEGI is a vital element in turning around the lives and prospects of some of our most disadvantaged communities in an economically sound and sustainable way."

Councillor Eric Empson, Chairman of the Cabinet, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is simply fantastic news and we are delighted that we have secured Local Enterprise Growth Initiative funding of £10.9million to invest in our most deprived areas over the next three years.

“Redcar and Cleveland has always been one of the north’s best kept secrets; we have an incredible heritage of world-class industrial enterprise and now the area is establishing itself as a potential world-leader in new energy and recycling industries. This funding provides us with a real opportunity to harness potential and build an exciting and dynamic future for residents.”

Councillor Vera Moody, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "This is great news. LEGI funding will help local people pursue their talent for enterprise and exploit the opportunities that exist.

"We have worked with our schools, businesses and a wide range of public and voluntary sector organisations to develop proposals to inspire, encourage and support people to start and develop successful businesses which will transform our community.

"We know this will not happen overnight, but with LEGI funding and the commitment of local people and organisations we will make rapid progress."

Working in partnership with public and private sector organisations the funding will provide a targeted programme of business development and support for Greater Eston, West Redcar and East Cleveland residents.

This will focus on four key areas, including:

Enterprise in Education – the funding will provide enterprise co-ordinators in three schools - Eston Park School, Redcar Community College and Freebrough Specialist Engineering College – who will lead a programme of teaching, mentoring and enterprise awareness raising to tap into the potential of young people and generate confidence in their ability to build a thriving business and exciting future for themselves; to support this ‘can-do’ attitude there will also be funding available for budding entrepreneurs to start-up businesses on the school site.

Harnessing the Passion – the north-east can suffer from the perception that the area is lacking dynamism and economic drive – this perception will be challenged. Passion, ambition and ideas can be harnessed and channeled into the creation of thriving businesses. Business development funding will be made available for researching new business ideas and ‘leading light' mentors will provide business savvy with the aim of increasing the number of self-employed by 480.

Enterprise Growth – with the aim of creating 450 new jobs in the next three years, new businesses will be supported in securing business premises, getting involved in the right business networks and taking full advantage of the opportunities on offer to open up supply chains and tender for new business.

Social Enterprise – increasingly public services are now provided by suppliers to the public sector. A new Development Trust will be set up with the aim of creating and supporting 8 new social enterprises over the next ten years, with significant commitment from Primary Care Trusts and the private sector already secured.

Enterprise Marketing – marketing will be undertaken to demonstrate to regional and national audiences that Redcar and Cleveland is an area of massive potential where businesses can thrive. This will boost new investment and interest in the area.

Partners in delivering the programme Alliance & Leicester Bank, Business Link Tees Valley, Chamber of Commerce, Redcar & Cleveland College of Further Education, the Community Network, Eldonians Ltd, Eston Park School, Federation of Small Businesses, Freebrough Specialist Engineering College, PD Ports plc, Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust (PCT), Redcar Community College, Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA), Redcar Racecourse, Working Links Ltd, UK Steel Enterprise Ltd.

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