Hundreds of new jobs could be coming to the region after North East leaders approved a cash boost for the area's digital industries.

Up to 500 new jobs could be created after politicians on the North of Tyne Combined Authority agreed to invest £10m in the North of Tyne’s digital economy at today's cabinet meeting.

The windfall represents 17% of the budget over the next three years - the combined authority’s biggest spending commitment since it was set up in November 2018.

The cash will be spent between 2020-23 on investing in small and medium sized businesses, training hundreds of people in digital skills alongside the private sector and growing the digital sector with new business start-ups and business acceleration programmes.

This comes two weeks after the BBC director general, Lord Hall, praised Newcastle as a city “looking for fresh ideas, collaboration and innovation,” and announced a new tech centre to create the next generation of software engineers, product developers and data scientists.

Research published earlier this month revealed Newcastle is the top UK city when it comes to making use of technology assets to win business, improve systems and attract the best talent.

More than half of all digital jobs in the North East are in the North of Tyne area and the combined authority hopes to maintain the rapid progress with this latest investment.

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Speaking in support of the plans North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: "What this is about is improving the profitability of businesses so they can employ people.

"We can connect people more easily and really start to make a difference to people's lives."

This was echoed by North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn, who added: "I think this is really good news for people in the area and an example as to why we came together; to make things like this happen."