£1.7 million is being invested in the North East, to promote growth across the digital and creative industries.

The cash comes from creative development agency, Generator, through the European Regional Development Fund.

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CEO Jim Mawdsley explained that the Digital Futures programme will help new and existing businesses, as well as entrepreneurs.

“The ‘Digital Futures’ programme will enable us to help businesses achieve significant growth as well as provide effective interventions at critical points in a business’s life cycle.

“This programme, alongside our acquisition and rebuilding of Digital Union, will help close the productivity gap that exists within the North East and the rest of the country by ensuring growth of businesses within the sector and therefore lead to the creation of jobs in the creative and digital industries. We’re looking forward to working with our business constituency and partners, including Sunderland Software City and Campus North to achieve this goal.”

The programme’s targets include delivering a minimum of 600 development opportunities to at least 262 businesses. They aim to create at least 75 jobs and develop 112 new firms.

“’Digital Futures’ will create the right environment for those individuals and businesses with innovative, profitable ideas so that they can develop, succeed and grow,” continued Mawdsley.

“It has been reported that UK cities with the highest concentrations of ‘new work’ businesses are those involved in the creative, professional and digital sectors. We will work on developing the strategy, business development, vision and performance of those businesses based in the North East to meet the region’s growth priorities.”