REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FACES A DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS - BLACKMAN-WOODS

Regional Development Agency, One North East today announced details of £33m of cuts to its budget for this year.

The cuts include the withdrawal of funding for key regeneration schemes such as Newcastle Science City, the Eastgate Renewable Energy Village in rural Durham, the High Street in Gateshead and in projects in Sunderland.

Funding will also be cut back for business support, tourism promotion and the upskilling of the region's workforce. The Tees Valley Industrial Programme, set up in the wake of Corus Teesside Cast Products mothballing, also faces cuts reducing the training available for those made redundant. 

Reacting to the announcement, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour's Shadow Business Minister and City of Durham MP said;

“These cuts are deeply regrettable and nobody should be in any doubt that the finger of blame lies in the Coalition’s direction.

This announcement is going to affect thousands of jobs, businesses and regeneration projects in every part of the region. It shows that the Government’s talk of helping the region is just hollow words. They are taking away the very funding private businesses need to grow and they are replacing a successful agency like One North East with more organisations chasing less money.

Its clear that Regional Development faces a death by a thousand cuts and this region’s economy will suffer."

ENDS