Works will help create new jobs at old shipyard

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WORKS are on the way to help create jobs at a former shipyard once one of the biggest employers in the borough.

Cabinet members at North Tyneside Council have been given an update on plans for the redevelopment of Wallsend’s old Swan Hunter site.

Infrastructure work is set to begin next year following several successful funding bids, and cabinet members agreed that council officers should try to seek out other external funding for site improvements.

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “The works – which include additional utility provision, access improvements, quay edge improvements and dredging – are essential in making sure the site is in excellent condition to meet its full potential for attracting further new businesses and allowing for greater job creation at an early stage.

“The site has already accommodated more than 20 companies and supported more than 300 temporary and permanent jobs.

“I must praise local businesses in the offshore sector on the north bank of the Tyne who have already shown enormous drive and the leadership needed to support the recovery of national and local economies by growing their business and rapidly creating jobs.

“The site has the potential to transform economic growth and bring large-scale private sector investment to North Tyneside, creating jobs for local people and becoming the heart of the community for Wallsend.

“The redevelopment of the Swan Hunter site is a great opportunity that we must move forward with quickly.

“The restoration of the former shipyard will take place at the same time as building new business accommodation through a development partner to be appointed by March.”

Cabinet members were also updated on the council’s progress in applying for funding to support a new business incubation centre and research and development facility at the Swan Hunter site.

The centre is aimed at small new businesses requiring business support, and the research facility will consist of six workshops offering hands-on experience of engineering.

Existing buildings on the site will be refurbished to accommodate both projects.