AFTER more than 25 years of supporting growing businesses across the region, Tyne and Wear Development Company is continuing to meet the challenge of driving business investment in Tyne and Wear.
The region’s leading business development agency has enjoyed a hugely successful last couple of years supporting local companies and some of the biggest inward investment projects in the country including Tesco Bank, Ebiquity and the Government’s Marine Management Organisation.
Such has been its success that business investors the agency has supported have helped to create more than 2,300 jobs in the last two years alone, generating £80m additional GVA in the process.
Balfour Beatty, which arrived in the region in 2010, recently announced it was to create an extra 200 jobs on Tyneside.
The construction giant will employ 450 workers at its group customer support centre by the end of 2012. The centre has been a huge success since its opening, saving the company and estimated £15m in efficiencies.
Paul Buie, manager of Tyne and Wear Development Company, said: “The last two years have been very successful and probably the best we’ve had in 25 years, in terms of the number of jobs and the number of projects we’ve been involved in.
“Balfour Beatty is a company we worked with for some time to attract them to the region in the face of strong competition. The company has settled fantastically well in the area and is beginning to develop strong roots here which is always the goal and why we deliver long-term support for investors.”
Tyne and Wear Development Company is the first port of call for investors of all sizes and sectors.
It provides a recognisable face and a one-stop shop for all business needs, offering free and confidential advice on everything from property to finance, recruitment and training.
The business support agency was instrumental in ensuring Balfour Beatty’s customer support centre was located here, advising on property sites in the region, connecting the company to other sources of support and providing detailed background information and research about the area.
Ian Dawson, who heads the centre, said: “We’ve been extremely impressed by the level of support available within the region, in particular from Tyne and Wear Development Company.
“They provided support from very early on in the process using their knowledge of the area to offer the right advice, guidance and experience we needed to tap into a network of local support.”
Tyne and Wear Development Company continues to drive business investment in the region by attracting major projects of like Balfour Beatty – but it is also working with fast growing businesses to support growth plans. It has been particularly active in attracting fresh investment from the Regional Growth Fund – fronting a successful £17m bid last autumn. Five businesses across Tyneside and Northumberland are now benefiting from this investment after Tyne and Wear Development Company worked closely with Northumberland County Council to develop a package of business support to secure funding.
Over 180 jobs will now be created or safeguarded by the five companies which include Shasun Pharma Solutions in North Tyneside. Shasun is creating 29 new jobs at its Dudley base as part of a multi-million project that involves plans to develop and manufacture a pioneering new pharmaceutical ingredient used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Paul Buie said: “The boost that the RGF investment is providing to these companies is invaluable. It is helping to drive the development of exciting new products and ultimately protecting future jobs.”
A bespoke Strategic Account Management programme is delivered by Tyne and Wear Development Company to provide ongoing assistance for local firms like these.
A team of business investment officers remain in regular contact with companies to ensure they understand their needs and can offer advice on the best support available.
Paul added: “It’s not all about new inward investors, businesses like these drive our economy and Tyne and Wear Development can provide whatever support is needed to help local businesses achieve their ambitions, whether this is a one-off project or more long-term strategic support.”
:: For more information about investment opportunities and business support in Tyne and Wear visit www.tyne-wear.co.uk or contact Tyne and Wear Development Company on 0191 516 9099.