Newcastle University and North of Tyne partner for £1.6 million investment in Newcastle’s digital economy

230 small Newcastle-based businesses are set to benefit from an investment in digital innovation made by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA)

Ella McCaffrey
19th October 2020
The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) will invest in digital innovation, benefitting 230 small Newcastle-based businesses. 

Investments are being made as part of a wider £10 million North of Tyne Digital Growth and Innovation Programme.

The NTCA is partnering with the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) at Newcastle University, based on the Newcastle Helix building. This will enable small businesses to tap into data science to assess their performance and plan their next moves. 

“This is a digital investment that looks to the future”

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council

Firms will also receive training in digital sector skills. This includes support through digital training and business acceleration programmes, creating new jobs whilst supporting existing ones. 

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Business Competitiveness and Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes told Business Live: “This is a digital investment that looks to the future”.

“Our digital sector is already one of the fastest growing sectors anywhere in the UK.”

The North of Tyne Combined Authority hopes that the investment will support businesses in their recovery from COVID-19. In particular, the sectors that typically run at low-productivity and low-pay, such as social care, tourism, and hospitality.

Further, by growing the digital sector it is hoped that skilled graduates will be attracted to Newcastle, making the city a hub of digital talent, research and creativity. 

The announcement of investment came after Newcastle was one of the four UK cities to appear on The Smart City Index. Ranking 23rd in the world, Newcastle has beat cities such as Chicago and San Francisco. 

“These investments – in digital skills so people can access the jobs of the future and in one of our chief regional assets which is the National Innovation Centre for Data – will be absolutely crucial for small businesses to survive in the post-covid economy”, says Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council.

Featured Image: Twitter (@LuceSeymour)

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