Skip to content

Build & Sustainability

Blyth-to-NETPark North East Investment Zone will ‘boost region’s green credentials’

The North East will “cement” its standing as “the best place to do business” across the clean energy and green manufacturing sectors after confirmation of a £160 million Government-backed venture, it has been claimed.

The North East Investment Zone aims to create up to 4000 jobs and attract hundreds of millions of pounds of private sector backing over the next decade and beyond.

Westminster officials say the endeavour – first announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last year – will provide firms with tax incentives and infrastructure investment to strengthen ties to the region.

And they have now confirmed it will focus on clean energy and green manufacturing, with zone sites running from Blyth Energy Central – the partnership between Advance Northumberland, Port of Blyth, Northumberland County Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – to NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham.

Further bases will include the River Tyne Corridor and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, near Nissan’s Wearside carmaking plant.

The zone is linked to the north of the region’s impending £4.2 billion mayoral devolution deal.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The energy cluster in and around the Blyth estuary currently supports around 2700 jobs and there are significant further employment opportunities associated with offshore renewables, electrification, advanced technology and wider infrastructure.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, interim portfolio holder for finance and investment for the new combined authority, and leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “This regionwide investment is a great example of the seven councils coming together and making decisions to benefit the North East.

“We are already recognised as world leading in clean energy and green manufacturing and this just further cements our position as the best place to do business in these sectors.”

The proposals are expected to be approved by the Government in March and be rolled out from the spring.

Jamie Driscoll, current North of Tyne mayor, added: “Investment zones must complement the strategic vision I have for the region.

“I want to make the North East a great place for innovative, progressive businesses to thrive in.

“Together, we can build a zero poverty, zero-carbon North East.”