A BID to create 125 jobs at one of the region's biggest employers,
and schemes to help North-East manufacturers compete globally, won funding from the latest round of the Government's key job creation scheme.

A team led by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has allocated £57m from the £300m Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Round 5 to support 11 North-East projects, creating and safeguarding 5,800 jobs.

Firms across the Tees Valley again performed strongly with engine maker Cummins in Darlington, as well as chemicals firms Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies, and Huntsman Polyurethanes, named among the winners.

Loading article content

Cleveland Potash has been awarded £4.9m to support a £38m project to mine and process the fertiliser mineral polyhalite.

The project will install new underground equipment, and surface facilities to crush and screen the material, as well as upgrade rail and dock facilities. 

The Boulby firm said it will create 125 direct jobs plus about 265 indirect jobs and will help to secure the long-term future of the mine, which has a workforce of 1,100 and is the biggest employer in East Cleveland.

The mining company said there are significant deposits of polyhalite beneath the potash deposits at Boulby with total resources in excess of a billion tonnes lying more than 1.5 kilometres offshore.

Its ambitious plan is a potential challenger to Sirius Minerals which hopes to build a 1,000 jobs polyhalite mine under the North York Moors.

The RGF was launched by the Coalition in 2012 to create private sector jobs in hard hit areas. Successful bidders must attract private investment alongside the money allocated by the Treasury.

Cummins is investing £10m of its own money to secure £1m of taxpayers' cash for a scheme to improve the efficiency of its production line and develop testing processes for low emissions engines.

Plant manager Des McMenamin, said: "The funding helps Cummins Darlington maintain our competitiveness in a global market."

Mr Clegg said: "The North-East has seen major benefits from the RGF already, and the £57m investment I am announcing today is the latest important part in making sure the recovery is sustainable and balanced across the country."

Industrial trailer maker Tinsley Special Products in Peterlee, received £3.5m to purchase land and build a new factory and create 86 new jobs. The company has already received £2.9m in previous rounds and 63 jobs have already been created by those projects.

Car parts manufacturers Gestamp Tallent of Newton Aycliffe and TRW Systems in Sunderland, the Let's Grow investment programme, sheet metal firm Hydram Engineering Limited in Chilton, County Durham, Hartlepool subsea supplier JDR Cable Systems, and chemical company Fine Industries of Billingham were also winning bidders.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “The latest successes, which comprise projects across all five Tees Valley boroughs, are testament to the bold, innovative, well thought-out and evidence-based bids that have been submitted by ambitious local organisations.”

Mr Catchpole added: “Tees Valley has been very successful across the Regional Growth Fund initiative with almost £187m secured from five bidding rounds.

“Our first round submissions were the most successful in the country with £26m earmarked for five Tees Valley projects. This represented almost 10 per cent of the £270m total granted by the Government and is most impressive when you consider that Tees Valley only has one per cent of the country’s population."

A total of 50 companies and programmes will receive cash in the latest round of the RGF across the country. 

Round 6 of the Fund will open for applications in the summer.

On Wednesday, your 16-page free Jobs & Business supplement will feature the North-East Regional Growth Fund success stories.