Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has revealed that the Tees Valley Business Fund has helped firms in the region create and safeguard 652 jobs, with hundreds more in the pipeline.
Tees Valley Business was established by mayor Houchen and the Tees Valley Combined Authority at the beginning of the year to provide support and advice so that firms in the area can start up, grow, and generate jobs.
The £35m business support service includes £20m in capital grants for investment projects.
To date, a total of £6million in grants has been approved for 12 companies, supporting £41m of private sector investment into the Tees Valley. It has allowed these businesses to create 427 new jobs and safeguard 225 more.
Ten further companies have completed expressions of interest for the grant, with an earmarked £5.1m forecast to create an additional 505 jobs and safeguard 64.
Tees Valley Business’s other funding streams have also recently helped hundreds of companies across the region following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welcome Back Fund and Back to Business funds saw huge uptake when they were launched in the summer, helping those companies ordered to close during the first national lockdown reopen their doors and access additional business support and advice.
Mayor Houchen said: “Creating good-quality, well paid jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool is my number one priority and funds like the Tees Valley Business Fund, which supports our amazing small and medium sized firms are an absolutely critical piece of the jigsaw.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic my two priorities have been protecting the health and wellbeing of everyone in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and protecting our amazing businesses. My Welcome Back Fund helped our pubs, bars and restaurants safely reopen when the first lockdown was lifted while the Back to Business Fund helped firms access professional support to aid their recovery.
“And so that our amazing young people didn’t miss out on starting their career because of the virus, a £1million Emergency Apprenticeship Fund backed 100 apprentices getting started in the career.
“We will not let this virus hold us back, despite the challenges businesses across the region are wanting to grow and create local jobs for local workers.”
Any businesses that currently need help accessing information on support during the coronavirus outbreak can get in touch with the Business Support Helpline on 01642 662777 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org