A multimillion-pound scheme designed to create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the number of scaleup businesses in the North East has launched.
Expressions of interest are being sought for Scaleup North East, which is being implemented by RTC North as part of the North East Growth Hub. The programme will support businesses with the ambition and drive to achieve a "real step change in business growth".
Businesses involved in the initiative will be matched with an experienced scaleup partner to work with them throughout their journey.
The ultimate aim of the project is to increase the number of scaleups in the region by 50 per cent before 2024.
Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East LEP, said: "Scaleup North East is an incredibly exciting programme that is aimed at businesses that want to scale, become more profitable and employ more people.
"This is something totally new. It's a real step-change for the region that will help us meet our goal of creating more and better jobs and opportunities, as set out in our strategic economic plan.
"Scaleup North East will create and sustain more scaleup businesses and has the potential to make a truly transformational impact on the North East economy."
Andrew Buckley, chief executive of RTC North, added: "RTC has been supporting North East businesses for 30 years and is incredibly proud to be delivering the Scaleup North East programme. We are looking forward not only to working with the region's existing scaleup businesses, helping them to overcome any barriers to continued growth, but also to identifying and nurturing the next generation of scale up businesses."