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North East loses ETI, gains energy funding boost

Date 24 Sep 2007
Author The Editor

The North East's pioneering energy sector will benefit from a £2.4m funding boost announced last week. The Three Pillars Investment Fund is targeted at three of the sectors identified as having the most potential to spearhead growth in the North East - new and renewable energy, process industries and healthcare and health sciences.

The news came after the Government announced that the North East's Energy Technology Institute bid had been unsuccessful. Despite not being awarded the ETI, regional development agency One NorthEast said that investment in the energy market remains one of the regional development agency's strategic goals.

The pilot Three Pillars Investment Fund will help innovative regional small and medium-sized companies continue to grow.

One NorthEast Chairman Margaret Fay said: "This fund will help bolster the development of companies in these growing and vitally important sectors. "New and renewable energy alone has the potential to generate an estimated £2bn worth of new growth for the regional economy through the development of a new generation of high-tech companies. "The North East is the energy innovation capital of the UK, and despite not being host to the ETI, our plans to put the region in pole position to seize new national and international opportunities in new and renewables remain clear and focused."

Andrew Sugden, NECC director of membership, said of the Government's ETI decision: "This is a major missed opportunity by the Government to build on the tremendous foundations the North East has created in new and renewable energy technology. "Despite this decision, the North East will continue to build upon the tremendous assets that exist within the region. The North East has enthusiastically embraced the potential that this technology offers and it will develop further the strengths that are already present in this field."

For more information on the Three Pillars Investment Fund contact fund manager Dr McMurray at NStar on 0191 211 2309.

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