One NorthEast has awarded £1.65m of funding to the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) to ensure its growth over the next three years. The funding has come through One NorthEast’s Single Programme.
NEPIC provides over 500 of the region’s pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and support companies with a network to share methods of best practice and to allow members to work together to generate investment. It aims to attract more science-based companies to the region, improve manufacturing capability and raise the profile of the chemicals industry.
The additional funding will support the further growth of the process industry, particularly the chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer and industrial biotech sectors. It follows the announcement that £1.7m of funding is being made available to create a new partnership led by One NorthEast, NEPIC and North East Biofuels to support the region’s first biofuel strategy.
One NorthEast director of business and industry Ian Williams said: ‘The process industry is making a massive contribution to the region’s economy, with 20 per cent of the UK’s production capacity based here and five of the world’s leading speciality chemicals companies with significant assets here.’
‘The organisation is expecting the sector to grow by 50 per cent to £13.3bn by 2015 and create an additional 12,000 new jobs,’ added Williams.
The process industry currently accounts for £10bn of the north east’s economy and employs 314,000 people across Northumberland, Durham, Tyne and Wear and the Tees Valley.