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Business & Economy

The Water Hub receives £120,000 funding boost to solve environmental challenges

Business support organisation, The Water Hub, has received funding of £120,000 to continue to back innovative solutions to local environmental challenges.

The funding has come from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and partners, including the Environment Agency, Durham County Council, Durham University, and Northumbrian Water.

It will allow The Water Hub to establish a business development plan for how it can offer support for research and innovation in the region.

Bringing together the water industry and local businesses on environmental projects, The Water Hub has provided direct support to 54 organisations through collaboration, research and business support.

It is estimated that this work has generated more than £1.7 million for the local economy.

The Water Hub’s George Gerring, who is also senior operations officer for the Environment Agency, said: “We are so excited to be entering phase 2 of our vision, under the funding and development guidance of the Environment Agency, to help broker and initiate key relationships between the environmental and business sectors.

“We are in a healthy position to scale and grow The Water Hub into establishing the organisation as a national and international asset. We have proven that the projects we help instigate produce a direct return on investment, which should be our magnet towards attracting future investment to the region.

“This is a global calling card to show investors that the North East of England is open for business, and to demonstrate what the region has to offer as a vibrant and ambitious place to develop new water and environmentally centred products.

“In these uncertain times during the global pandemic we are also wanting to show our support towards SMEs and provide a positive platform for the region to build upon.”

Richard Baker, strategy and policy director at the North East LEP, added: “The Water Hub has been an excellent initiative to draw together partners, businesses and communities in the drive to develop solutions to key water and environmental challenges and has created an excellent collaborative model which has the potential to position the North East as a leading region for this work.”