The North East is receiving £1.7 million of investment to promote growth across the digital and creative industries.

Creative development agency Generator is to distribute the cash through the European Regional Development Fund.

“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,” said Generator CEO Jim Mawdsley.

“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.”

Minimum targets include delivering 600 development opportunities to 262 businesses.

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

“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.”

Newcastle shared tech working space Campus North is to train teachers in digital skills to help plug the skills gap.

The Tech for Life programme, beginning in the autumn, is to be developed by those working in tech and delivered by digital experts.