The North of Tyne Combined Authority has announced new multi-million pound funding to boost the local digital sector.
The authority plans to invest £12m to boost the digital sector in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The investment, which includes £7m for a 5G and Future Connectivity fund, will be used to create jobs in a ‘digital ecosystem’ of mutually supportive tech businesses and organisations.
Plans also include providing £5m to support startups and unlock the potential of digital and tech businesses, working with partners including Dynamo North East, Innovation Super Network, Ignite, Digital Catapult, TEDCO, Northumbria University, NGI and the Academic Health Science Network.
It is expected that the funding will help create 600 jobs and safeguard a further 140, as well as unlocking support for over 500 businesses and 450 residents.
North of Tyne cabinet member for clean energy and connectivity, Cllr Richard Wearmouth, commented: “This will be a game changer for the region. It will accelerate investment in infrastructure and connectivity in the North of Tyne, supporting the industry-led innovation of our rapidly growing tech sector.
“And it will give real incentives for mobile networks and infrastructure providers to roll out super-fast wireless and fibre across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
“The power of digital solutions can help countless businesses emerge from the crisis. From artificial intelligence to data clouds, from Digital Innovation Hubs to ‘deep tech’ startups, innovation, growth and productivity, and technology will go hand in hand.”
North of Tyne cabinet member for jobs, innovation, and growth, Cllr Nick Forbes, added: “The digital sector is transforming our economy and how services are delivered. That’s why we are looking to make this major investment now.
“The North of Tyne has some great assets: cutting edge research at Newcastle Helix, large digital firms like IBM in North Tyneside and hi-tech manufacturers in Northumberland. We must ensure we remain at the forefront of the digital revolution.
“But this investment is also about people. By showing confidence in our communities, businesses, and their ideas we can create the jobs of the future right here.”
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