Cash boost for plans to transform Swans

A computer generated image of how Swans could look once occupied.
A computer generated image of how Swans could look once occupied.

Plans to transform a former shipyard into an enterprise hub have received a major cash boost.

A further £8m has been secured for the development of the Swans site in Wallsend through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of a ‘Growth Deal’ for the north east.

The Swans site is very much open for business

Mayor Norma Redfearn

The money, part of a wider £330m package, will enable North Tyneside Council and its partners to increase the potential of the site.

The authority is working with its development partner Kier to transform the 13 hectares of prime Enterprise Zone land at Swans into a hub for the offshore, renewable energy and advanced engineering sectors.

Once complete and occupied to capacity, the site is expected to bring around 1,000 new jobs to the north east.

The extra £8m will be used to infill a redundant wet berth at the former shipyard, opening up more space for investors.

Bob Paton, chief executive of the North East LEP, said: “Growth Deals were launched to fire up regional economies by creating jobs and supporting key infrastructure projects.

“The Swans site is a prime example of how this type of investment can be used to successfully create employment and ensure key local developments continue to progress.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This latest announcement is great news and will enable us to complete another key milestone in our successful development of the Swans site.

“We have been able to secure this funding thanks to partnership working in the north east, which has brought councils together to work with the North East LEP.”

“This funding – and the Growth Deal as a whole – will not only benefit our borough by maximising the potential of the Swans and other employment sites, but will help boost the wider north east economy by enabling us to put this area on the map for the offshore and renewable energy sector.

“The Swans site is very much open for business.

“We’ve got the infrastructure in place, a development partner actively working with us to provide premises and employers for the site and now this extra funding that will open up even more space for investment.”

More than £100m is being spent on re-developing the former shipyard, using a mix of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency, North East Local Enterprise Partnership, private sector and council investment.

The Swans project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £7.855m of ERDF investment.

North Tyneside Council selected Kier Property as its development partner for Swans in March 2013.

Businesses locating to the site before March 2018 will also benefit from five years of business rate relief up to £275,000 in value.

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